Walking for good health
Walking releases endorphins
While walking, your body releases endorphins which are chemicals that interact with receptors in your brain to reduce your perception of pain and trigger positive feelings. It is a natural process which means that you don't have to go to the gym or do other strenuous activities just so you can feel good. In addition, walking can help reduce stress as it also helps clear your mind of distracting thoughts by keeping it focused on your surrounding environment.
If you want a natural mood enhancer, take a stroll around the neighbourhood or park and enjoy the wonders of nature. You will definitely feel much better after taking a walk even if it's just a short one.
Walking can help reduce anxiety
- You release tension when walking
- Walking releases endorphins, and these feel-good chemicals can help you to relax
- Walking can help to prevent anxiety, because it regulates your thoughts
- Walking also helps to relieve anxiety, since it clears your mind
Walking as a weight loss/maintenance method
How many calories you need to burn to lose weight depends on your current weight, gender and activity level.
The truth is that the number of calories you burn walking depends on several factors: your weight, pace and time spent walking. Different body types will process calories burned while walking differently. However, a good rule of thumb is that average-sized people will burn about 100 calories per mile. That means that if you weigh less than average, you'll probably end up burning fewer calories per mile. On the other hand, if you're significantly bigger than average, or perhaps just carrying a little extra weight, you'll burn more calories for each mile walked.
In addition to how much you weigh, the pace at which you walk also affects calorie expenditure. A leisurely stroll won't burn as many calories as a brisk walk will—and running will obviously provide an even greater caloric expenditure boost over simply walking quickly.
One pound or .453 kg equals 3,500 calories.
Now, losing 1 pound a week may not seem like much, but it adds up to 12 pounds or 5.44kg a year. And that can make a real difference in your health.
It's important to know how many calories you need each day to maintain your current weight and the amount of calories you need to burn each day in order to lose weight at the rate of 1 pound per week. Here's how;
If you start walking at a brisk pace for 30 minutes five days per week, and you don't change any other habits, you could lose about one pound per month. If your walking workout is significantly less intense than this (for example, a leisurely stroll), how much weight loss depends on how many additional calories you burn with other activities.
In terms of weight loss, the idea is simple: Burn more calories than you consume. It's possible to do that by increasing your physical activity as well as adjusting your diet to incorporate healthier foods and fewer empty calories.
One pound equals 3,500 calories. To lose one pound per week, it's generally recommended that you cut 500 to 1,000 daily calories through a reduced-calorie diet and regular exercise. If your goal is long-term weight maintenance after losing 10 or 15 pounds from walking, the American Heart Association recommends aiming for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise (or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise) weekly, or some combination of both in order to prevent regaining lost weight.
10,000 steps per day.
While there is no strict number of steps required to lose weight, a good minimum goal is to walk at least 10,000 steps per day. This can be hard to achieve if you are just starting out with walking as your form of exercise, but it is attainable through consistent practice.
If you don't have a pedometer app on your phone already, download one now and try to meet your 10,000-step count for the next few days.
If it's been a while since you've exercised regularly, we recommend checking with your doctor before starting any new fitness program.
Walking can be a low-impact option for many people who otherwise can't exercise vigorously.
One of the biggest benefits of walking is that it offers a low-impact workout. In other words, you’re not pounding your feet against hard surfaces like you would when running or playing sports. That makes it a great exercise for people who might have trouble with high-impact workouts.
Walking is also easier on your joints than running, thanks to less stress on your knees and hips due to the lack of impact. Plus, it’s free and doesn’t require any extra equipment beyond a pair of comfortable shoes and clothes that won’t get in the way. There are even some studies that suggest walking may be more effective than running at burning stored body fat and boosting metabolism—and who wouldn't want that?
Author: Angelique Sarris