The benefits of walking | Inquirer News

The benefits of walking

/ 09:32 AM September 24, 2012

I LOVE to walk. It’s such a great way to work out. It boosts your metabolism and puts you in a fabulous mood. After I walk I feel invigorated and have a wonderful sense of self accomplishment. I have found that it’s one of the best tools for permanent weight loss.

Walking for 10 minutes burns 50 to 100 calories. The faster you walk, the more you burn. Walking helps you shrink your fat zones in many ways beyond the calories you burn during your actual workout. A recent study of 40 overweight women revealed that a walking program combined with modest calorie restriction resulted in an average eight percent drop in body weight, 17 percent drop in fat mass and 20 percent drop in tummy fat. Overall, the women lost much more than you would expect from dietary restriction alone. Researchers attribute the extra fat loss to the calories burned during each walking session coupled with a walking induced boost in aerobic capacity refers to how efficiently your muscles use oxygen and convert into fuel. The better your aerobic capacity the more efficiently your body burns fat both during your walk and during the rest of your day.

Research shows that regular cardiovascular exercise (any type of exercise that increases your heart and breathing rates) helps to regulate your appetite making you less likely to overeat. In addition numerous surveys show that women who begin a fitness program automatically choose healthier foods. In my experience walking works for just about any age. Though other fitness pursuits such as running or cycling also burn fat and help to regulate your appetite, they unfortunately can take a toll in your joints, your knees, and your back. I myself love to run and still do a couple of times a week.


Besides burning fat walking strengthens your heart and lowers blood pressure and cholesterol build up reducing your heart disease risk by 40 percent. It also stimulates the natural rhythm of your intestines helping to enhance digestion and bowel regularities. It normalizes blood sugar levels, helping to prevent diabetes and insulin resistance. Walking can also lift depression and boost your mood. As you walk your brain secretes opiate-like chemicals that soothes away aches and pains and create a feeling of freshness. It’s no wonder that a brisk walk can clear your head and soothe your nerves. Whenever you feel anxious, tense, sad or depressed head outdoors for a walk and leave your troubles behind. Walking can be addictive in a good way. Best of all walking works for everybody.



You can easily tailor walking to your schedule, personality and lifestyle. You can walk practically anytime, anywhere. You need only a good pair of shoes and socks to walk your way to a slimmer you. Though you can certainly walk at any time that fits best into your schedule. I encourage to try it first thing in the morning. Research shows that you are more likely to fit in exercise in the morning rather than later in the day. Get out of bed put on your walking clothes, to your morning and pre-walk stretches and get on your way. Do what works best for you, but just do it. There are many different kinds of walk. The more variety in your walking repertoire, the more motivated you will feel. Variety also keeps your muscles constantly challenged, which helps you burn more calories during every workout. Plus, when you change it up, you’ll also keep your metabolism up preventing a weight loss plateau. For each of your walking workouts you’ll work up to a total time of 45 minutes, starting with 25 minutes during weeks and 2 and adding 10 minutes every other week. Your goal is to walk four times a week.


Besides your scheduled 25 to 45 minutes walks four times a week, I encourage you to fi t in as much as walking as you can throughout each day. Make walking a regular habit. Looking for other ways to make your walking habitual? decrease your dependence in your car-take errands by walking to the bank, the convenience store or the post office. Pretend that elevators, escalators and moving walkaways don’t exist opting to use power of your own two feet over the power of electricity and cables. Walk to your neighbors house rather than call. Take mini walk breaks at work rather than coffee or snack breaks. Eventually, such mini walks will become natural part of your day.

Where to walk?

You can do your walking workouts just about anywhere. Walking outdoors is fun and enjoyable. But sometimes we can’t walk outside. So a treadmill provides a nice back up and that’s the true beauty of walking. You can do it in so many places from malls to gyms to parks. Here are the different locations and benefits of walking in these areas:

The treadmill

I love walking on my treadmill. It’s always there waiting for me so I can walk. It also allows me to walk during heavy rain, when it would be too uncomfortable or unsafe to walk outdoors. Position your treadmill to face out the window so you can see and enjoy beautiful views specially if you’re on the upper floor. Also you can placed a TV in front of the treadmill so you can watch the news or your favorite TV shows while you burn fat.

The mall

If you don’t own a treadmill or have access to one at a gym, the mall provides your next best option for walking indoors during bad weather or just for the fun of it. An added bonus: You’ll meet other walkers, making it social activity that you’ll look forward to. Plus, you can window shop.

The beach

If you planned for a beach vacation or are lucky enough to live near a beach, take advantage of the beautiful scenery, sea breeze and great smelling ocean air by walking on the beach. Walking on sand burns more calories than walking on a paved surface because you must work harder to push off during each foot strike. It will also help you tone your calves and ankles.

The neighborhood

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If your neighborhood has sidewalks, you’ve get a wonderfully safe and car-free walking route. These walks help us get to know other neighbors that we pass by. Plus, it’s fun to know who’s moving in and out or who’s adding an addition to their house.

TAGS: Health, walk

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