A Short Walk can Take You a Long Way

A Short Walk can Take You a Long WayIs a simple walk enough to improve your health? It might not seem like much, but something as easy as a walk does affect your fitness level. Even walking through the mall has its advantages. Consider how walking for health to the store or to a friend’s house instead of driving is beneficial.

Is Walking Aerobics?

Aerobics is the standard fitness and health experts use to describe appropriate exercise. It is the most effective way to improve your heart health and endurance. Because most people do not view walking as an aerobic activity, they often diminish the value of walking as an exercise. Ideally, an exercise program boosts your heart rate up to 85 percent of its maximum. By those standards, a walk to the store is not aerobic exercise, but is still an opportunity for healthy living.

Maximizing Your Walking Potential

Heart rate is a factor in duration. A runner needs to exercise for fewer minutes to get the maximum benefit. Running a 10-minute mile, or about 6 mph, for just 15 minutes burns almost 400 calories, according to SuperTracker. A person walking for health will move slower and burn much less, but still get some benefit.

To maximize your walk, you would need to spend more time doing it. A brisk 30-minute walk, five days a week provides about the same workout as a jogger running 20 minutes, just three days a week.

Creating a Balance

The most effective fitness strategy for healthy living is to balance out activities to keep from getting bored. This way, you have an exercise plan that fits, regardless of your mood. If you are feeling energetic, a brisk bike ride is just the thing. If you are not up to that, then an hour walking around after work keeps you active.

The point is any time you choose to walk instead of drive, you are improving your health. Studies show that your walking habits directly affect your risk of developing a cardiovascular disease. One study showed regular walking reduces cardiovascular events by 31 percent. So, the next time you have to choose between getting behind the wheel of the car or walking, take the healthier approach.