No matter your age or physical activity level, we can all benefit from increasing our steps!
From weight loss to reducing cholesterol levels, there are countless benefits of walking. Want to kickstart your journey to better health? Here are some steps to help motivate you to get more steps in each day.
In this post, you'll learn ways to add steps to your current routine, about the benefits of walking, and how many steps you need a day.
As a brain health and wellness professional, I believe prevention is the key to health. No matter your current state of health, walking is an excellent form of physical activity that will help reduce your risk of various health conditions.
So what are you waiting for?
Reach Your Daily Steps For Better Health
Check out my previous post, What Are the Benefits of Walking, to gain even more information and steps you can take when it comes to just walking every day!
When we walk, we’re carrying our full body weight. Therefore, walking is considered a weight-bearing exercise. Some benefits of weight-bearing exercise include:
-increased cardiovascular and pulmonary (heart and lung) fitness
-reduced risk of heart disease and stroke
-improved management of conditions such as hypertension (high blood pressure), high cholesterol, joint, and muscular pain or stiffness, and diabetes
-stronger bones and improved balance
-increased muscle strength and endurance
-reduced body fat
Boost these benefits and start to incorporate more weight into your walking routine, which will help you burn even more fat and build more muscle. Use ankle or wrist weights or carry lightweight dumbbells. If you don’t have weights, get creative. Create your own dumbbells or ankle weights by filling water bottles or old socks with sand.
Are You Getting Enough?
How much you should be walking?
To achieve optimal benefits, you should be walking briskly for 2 hours and 30 minutes each week. The good news is, this time can be broken up into five 30-minute walks.
How much are you currently walking? If it’s less than 30 minutes five days a week, start working toward achieving 2 hours and 30 minutes total for the week.
If you’re already achieving the recommended amount, great job—but you’re not off the hook. It’s time to speed up your pace slightly.
How Intense Should Your Walk Be?
Intensity describes how hard you are exercising. The more intensely you work, the higher your heart rate, and the more you improve your fitness.
The talk test is an easy way to check your exercise intensity:
-If you can talk, but can’t sing while walking, you’re working at a moderate intensity
-If you can only say a few words while walking, you’re getting a more vigorous workout
-You are exercising too hard if you can’t talk while doing your activity
You may not be exercising hard enough if you can sing while doing your activity
Aim for a steady, moderate pace.