3 Reasons Why Walking is Underrated
Did you know that walking has the potential to be just as effective of a workout as jogging? Studies have shown that the most effective workouts are those in which your heart rate goes from low to high periodically, instead of staying at a consistent level throughout, whether that be low or high. By planning your walk, or utilizing all of the buttons on your treadmill, you will be able to achieve the same result as if you went on a jog.
1. Physical Benefits
On the typical run or jog you abuse your body much more than you do when you are walking. On average, while running your body absorbs 3 times your body weight every time you take a step, whereas when you are walking that number is cut in half to 1.5 times your body weight. This means that your body is experiencing less stress and is less susceptible to injury during the workout or in the future. Regular walking has also been proven to improve posture, endurance, cardiac health, and circulation, while reducing the risk for cancer and chronic disease as well as preventing weight gain.
2. Mental Benefits
While walking does provide great physical benefits, the mental benefits that come with walking are arguably just as notable. Walking regularly can alleviate depression and fatigue, improve mood, as well as increase your creativity output by as much as 60%. Studies have shown that as little as 12 minutes of walking can lead to increase in overall excitement, alertness, attentiveness and self-confidence. Walking outdoors in nature specifically has been proven to reduce the symptoms and the risk of depression, and the stimulation from your surroundings increases overall brain activity. Not only has walking been proven to improve memory and help reduce brain tissue degradation as you age, but studies have also shown that a 10 minute walk can be as effective as a 45 minute workout for reducing symptoms of anxiety.
3. Something Everyone Can Do
Although a walk without incline or pace changes will not have the same physical benefits as other exercises, it is a great place to start. Whether you are doing a short walk on the treadmill or a walk around the block, the mental benefits of walking will remain the same and a regular walk is something that most people are able to accomplish. When you feel ready, you can also incorporate changes in pace, incline, or terrain (if exercising outdoors) into your walks, as well as adding weights in the form of dumbbells or wearable weights.
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