The Benefits of Taking a Stroll

By on April 16, 2014
You know that taking a jog has significant health benefits — increases cardiovascular health, helps you maintain a healthy weight, etc. — but what about walking? While you won’t feel out of breath or feel the intensity, walking could still give you a good workout.

Walking is a form of physical activity — and any physical activity on a daily basis is great for the entire body. Taking a walk each day could help lead to a healthier life, some benefits you can enjoy include:

  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Prevention or management of chronic conditions, such as heart disease, Type 2 Diabetes, and high blood pressure
  • Strengthening the bones
  • Lifting your mood
  • Improving coordination and balance

The longer and further you walk, the more benefits you get out of each stroll you take.

But Is Walking as Good as Running?

Walking burns about 300 calories per hour, while running burns 800 calories per hour (for a 160-pound person). But not everyone can jog or run on a daily basis. Even though you won’t burn 800 calories, you can increase the amount of calories you burn by picking up the speed of your walk.

How to Get More from Your Walk

There are ways to maximize the effects of your walk so that you still lose weight and maintain optimum health. A recent study showed that if you walk at at least 4 miles per hour on a treadmill and add ankle weights equally up to five pounds, you could intensify the workout.

Be Realistic When First Starting Out

Walking can cause injuries just as much as running. So if you aren’t prepared for the intensity, you’re going to get some soreness — or worse, do some damage. Don’t pick up the pace until your body is ready. That might mean for some people, gradually adding speed and weights until reaching optimum. There is nothing wrong with slowly increasing the intensity of your workout — in fact, you’ll perform better and see better results if you do.

Also, remember to have the proper shoes. Walking shoes support your foot, knees and back right for the workout. Don’t forget to warm-up before your walk (do a little stretching while you’re at it) and do a cool down after the walk.

Walking can get boring. Instead of walking with yourself, enlist the help of a friend and see if they want to take a daily stroll with you. Sometimes having someone to talk to makes the walk more fun. If you don’t have a walking buddy, bring along some music or listen to a book on tape — anything to help keep you motivated and on track.

Readers: Are you more the walking or running type?


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