Importance of Walking for Fitness and Overall Health


With all of the craze over aerobic type exercises and the emphasis on weight training, walking has kind of gotten left in the dust. The mentality that walking is just a waste of time, however, is one that is unfounded and, quite frankly, inaccurate. Yes, those other exercises are powerful ways to boost ones metabolism, lose weight, and create an overall healthier lifestyle, but walking has its own little set of benefits to offer.

For starters, some people simply do not have the stamina to jump right into a major, high intensity workout regimen. If you are very overweight or have simply been inactive for a long period of time, trying to train like a bodybuilder right out of the gates is not only impossible, but also potentially very dangerous. In addition, even if you could manage to force yourself through one workout without seriously injuring yourself, you’d be absolutely miserable. This would make you that much more likely to give up exercise altogether since it isn’t something you either enjoy or are good at.

So, on that note, walking provides a kind of entry-level position for first time fitness followers or for people who are trying to get back in to a healthier lifestyle. It’s also a great, low-impact exercise for those who suffer with joint pain. But walking isn’t just for beginners. It’s got some great benefits even for those who are hitting the gym 5 times a week and are in perfect health.

Walking for Your Health
Here are a few health statistics that might have you rethinking getting rid of that old treadmill:

  • 22% lower death rate with walking 9 miles per week.
  • 18% coronary disease risk decrease with half an hour of walking per day.
  • 35% decrease in risk of heart attack or related death.
  • 34% decrease in the risk of a stroke.

That’s some pretty powerful stuff there! These are certainly some good reasons to start incorporating a walking regimen into your fitness routine. Before you start giving me a list of all the reasons why you don’t have time to walk (I can see you ticking off the reasons in your head), don’t focus so much on what you can’t do. That mentality never got anyone anywhere.

Look for opportunities during normal daily activities to get in a few extra steps:

  • If you live close to town, walk down to the store rather than drive. A mile or two in each direction shouldn’t take you too long to complete, and as long as you aren’t trying to carry a week’s worth of groceries back, you’ll do fine.
  • Of course, there is always the excellent advice of parking further out in the lot and taking the stairs rather than the elevator.
  • Go for a brisk walk around the building during your lunch hour.

There are really hundreds of different ways to add some steps to your day without putting an extra strain on your schedule. Do it for your health and enjoy the benefits.

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About Author

Daniela Vannucchi

Daniela Vannucchi has written various manuals on weight loss, been featured in multiple magazines, and has created several fitness DVDs. She has received an honors degree in Biokinetics, plus CSCS and CPT qualifications from the NSCA. See my profile page for more information!

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