A blog by runners. For runners.

Walk this way: the benefits of walking for exercise

walking-for-exercise

There’s been a lot of focus on running lately, so we wanted to mix it up a bit and highlight walking today. After all, runners have to walk before they can run, and walking is an excellent workout in its own right.

Here’s five reasons why:

  1. Walking can be a great way to start a consistent fitness regimen and get disciplined if you’re struggling. Many are frustrated initially by jogging and — honestly — if you’re new, it can sometimes feel like going from 0 to 60 in two seconds flat. Consider walking easing into activity and you’ll still reap the benefits, including boosted energy, a healthier heart, improved mood, weight maintenance, and more.
  2. Even the busiest people can fit in moderate walk breaks in during work hours. (Little to no sweating involved means no need to shower, right?).  Instead of zoning out in front of the computer with vending snacks at lunch time, get some air and take a half hour to hour stroll outdoors. A 150 pound woman can burn between 100 to 250 calories, depending on speed and duration in this amount of time. What’s better? You can usually find someone to join you and even form new friendships!
  3. Just like with running, all you need to walk is yourself, a good pair of shoes, and a path (or treadmill). It’s yet another budget-friendly option with no gym required. As a result, there are fewer excuses not to get out there are be active each and every day. The current recommendation is 10,000 steps per day, which is around 5 miles.
  4. Walking can be performed year-round in a variety of interesting environments. If strolling the sidewalks isn’t exciting for you, consider heading to a local nature or hiking path. Walk barefoot on the beach on your vacation. In the winter, try out snowshoes (a lot of parks rent them) or keep pace on the treadmill while reading a magazine or watching TV at the gym. No matter where or how you walk, you’ll be boosting your circulation, flushing out toxins, and improving your cardiovascular system.
  5. Walking is also a fantastic option for runners looking to supplement workouts on cross-training days. In fact, many runners have admitted to me that they are relatively inactive outside of their running programs — and even a short walk each day might better replace a half hour on the couch. Walking works different muscle groups and stretches and loosens tight muscles, too. It’s lower impact and can be a great transition activity after injury or burnout.

How many walkers do we have out there? What other benefits do you see to the sport?

Written by  Ashley Marcin.