While many clients come regularly to the gym for their workout, there are those that for a variety of reasons, never go to the gym at all. Even those that attend regularly often find they cut corners avoiding other exercise outside the gym. In fact, they may even circle a store parking lot several times trying to find the closest spot, rather than doing the extra walk. Whether you workout regularly or are completely sedentary, increasing how much you walk can be a huge benefit to your overall health.
You’ll improve your heart health when you walk.
It doesn’t seem like much exercise while walking, but it can make a big difference in your cardiovascular health. One study found that people who walked around at least five minutes every hour maintained all the benefits from working out compared to those that remained seated for longer than an hour. Adding walking to your program of exercise or even starting one with walking is simple and it costs nothing to do. It helps shed pounds and raises your good cholesterol.
Does the 10,000 steps a day method work?
You may have heard of the recommended 10,000 steps a day, but did you know there was research that backed it. An Australian study using 2500 subjects that were sedentary showed the group that added the activity of 10,000 steps a day increased their mortality by 40%. A second study showed that just increasing walking by 3,000 steps a day lowered the risk of dying by 12%. These studies spanned a minimum of 15 years. A third study showed that just 150 minutes of walking each week, lowered the risk of dying by 20% overall with the risk of dying of respiratory disease lowered by 30%, and dying of cancer lowered by 9%.
You don’t have to do your walking all at once, either.
Pedometers have become popular with people using them to register every step. It also encourages them to walk more, if for no other reason than to improve their personal best. While 30 minutes of walking every day is ideal, it doesn’t mean you have to do it 30 minutes straight. You can break it up into three 10-minute sessions at different times of the day. If you have a slightly longer time for lunch at work, walk to your favorite restaurant that’s ten minutes away, eat and walk back to work. That’s two ten minute sessions completed and just one left to go for the balance of 30-minutes.
- Alternating your walking speed from a brisk speed with a short period of recovery and back to a brisk pace can help you get into shape faster. It’s a form of interval training.
- Walking can be the perfect way for a sedentary person to start their workout program. It can be personalized by adjusting for speed, distance and amount of time spent. It can be done in shorter sessions as noted previously.
- Find ways to add more walking to your daily life. Besides parking further from the store, taking the stairs rather than the elevator, walking to lunch and getting up and walking for five minutes every hour is beneficial, too.
- If you’re uncomfortable working out in front of others, you can start a weight loss program with healthy eating and walking. As you start to see the pounds drop off and you feel more energetic, it’s time to go to the gym for a complete program of fitness.
For more information, contact us today at Body Sculptors Personal Training