Walking is often overlooked when you talk about exercise or weight loss. The majority of the people only consider diet and think about joining a gym while trying to lose weight. Although the gym can help you get a strong and a toned body it can be difficult for some people to carry out their routine work along with the gym in such cases, many people give up their diet as well. It is necessary to understand that exercises like walking can be beneficial to lose weight and also helps in weight management. There are many benefits that one can gain simply by walking daily for just 20 minutes however, people can have certain myths about weight loss due to which walking is often underrated.
The most common misconception people have about walking is that you need to walk 10,000 steps in a day in order to see results. Although, this goal can help you maintain blood pressure and also provides many other health benefits however, a lower number of steps a day are no less, especially for a beginner. You can count the number of steps you completed in 20 minutes or more and then gradually increase 2,000 steps each week. This can help you to achieve a lower body mass index and also reduces the risk of death. There are many other misconceptions that people may have which reduce the popularity of walking as an exercise that can be effective for weight loss. Below given are some reasons that can help you understand how walking is beneficial for weight loss and other health problems.
1. Promotes weight loss
Walking is a simple and easy exercise that can help you lose weight when combined with a healthy and controlled diet. A 30 minutes brisk walk daily can help you burn around 150-300 calories. This makes it good for people who cannot work out for hours and requires a low-intensity exercise. Walking at a controlled pace helps you burn more calories as your heart rate is elevated however, you should not have difficulty breathing in order to continue walking. Gradually increasing the number of steps you walk helps you to boost weight loss and also makes it easy to reach the new goal. Studies show that the more you walk the more weight you can lose, this doesn’t mean that you have to walk for hours to see results however, slowly increasing the time you walk can help you achieve faster results.
2. Increases NEAT
NEAT refers to the non-exercise activity thermogenesis. It helps to improve the BMR or basal metabolic rate. Due to the changes in technology almost every work is done online with the help of a laptop or computer, this means sitting all day at work and this means fewer physical activities. NEAT helps with many things like circulation, digestion, premature aging, and burning calories while your body is at rest. Keeping yourself active throughout the day helps you to increase the number of calories you burn. Walking is a great way to do so, it not only keeps you active but also helps your mind to relax. If you cannot walk daily for an hour in one go you can complete your task by walking for some minutes throughout the day. This will not only keep you active but also help you to burn more calories. Doing little efforts to be active throughout the day can give big results. For instance, parking your car a little far from your office can help you walk more and similar efforts can help you burn around 300 extra calories.
3. Relieves stress
Stress can often influence your weight loss journey negatively. There can times when you workout daily and also manage your diet however, the results aren’t visible, the underlying reason for this can be stress. Stress if not managed can directly influence weight. When your body is under chronic stress the cortisol levels can be increased due to which you feel hungry even after having your meal. This can lead to overeating or wrong choice of food that can cause weight gain. Walking is a great exercise that can help to alleviate your mood and also helps to de-stress. Regular walking can boost the production of stress-busting hormones and reduces anxiety thereby improving the signs of depression. A 30 minutes walk in a park or somewhere in nature can be a great stress buster. Unlike other exercises, you won’t feel the need to skip walking after having a stressful and tiring day as it will not only help your burn calories but it will also create a distance between the stressful situations and you.
4. Good for the joints
Walking is an exercise that can be done by people of any age and also improves the symptoms of joint problems like arthritis. Many people experience inflammation in their knees when they over-work themselves, this can happen due to various reasons like doing the leg exercise in a wrong manner or very often. Walking can be a great alternative for people who are recovering from their problems and also help you to maintain your workout routine without putting much strain on joints. It is often recommended to the people who suffer from arthritis as walking is considered one of the best ways to improve the early symptoms of arthritis and also helps them to lose or manage weight. However, it is important to maintain a good posture while walking to reduce the chances of any injury.
One common myth people believe related to walking is that it can lead to bulky calves. Walking can help you lose weight and builds lean muscles however, bulky calves are caused due to more intense workouts and not from a daily walk.
5. Better for long term
An exercise or a workout is considered effective and beneficial if it can be carried out on a daily basis for a long time. Although some high-intensity workouts are good to lose the extra body fat however to maintain weight and to lose weight in long term walking is considered a good exercise as it can vary from low to medium intensity and also provides many health benefits like better quality of sleep, sleep is also an important factor that can help you lose weight. Proper sleep helps you regulate your hormones and you avoid feeling hungry and irritated at odd times. Other benefits like better blood circulation also help people who suffer from high blood pressure or varicose veins as studies show improvement in such conditions. It can also improve your cardiovascular health and reduces the risk of stroke as well. Research shows that people who walk daily especially people who are 50 years and older increases their life expectancy from 30-45%. It can also strengthen your muscles as when you walk you are not only rewarded with toned muscles but the pressure and weight that is on your joints is shifted to your muscles resulting in better muscle power. Thus along with weight loss, all these benefits can be gained simply by walking for at least 30 minutes on a daily basis.