What if you arent a workout enthusiast, does that mean you can’t keep fit?! If high-intensity exercise isn’t your cup of tea, there are other ways to boost your fitness levels. Is walking good for health? Does walking exercise even qualify as exercise?
First things first; research shows that moderate-intensity exercise can also go a long way in improving cardio fitness levels. In fact, if you are a non-exerciser and have a low cardio fitness level, you are likely to gain the most from moderate exercise as you graduate from the least fit bracket. In other words, as you move from being sedentary to being active, your risk of mortality from cardiovascular disease significantly reduces.
If you just began with a brisk walking regimen of 150 minutes a week, research shows that there could be a 10% increase in your cardio fitness levels. Now isn’t that a worthwhile statistic to aim for?
Brisk walkers are also known to see a marked improvement in metrics such as:
A Stanford University study has also shown that walking increases creative output by an average of as much as 60%, is an added perk!
When it comes to some prominent markers of our health, walking at a moderate intensity, therefore can achieve a lot. There couldn’t be a better piece of news for those of us who dread pumping iron in the gym or going out for a run. In fact, it can safely be said that walking is actually the most underrated form of exercise and can well be a great exercise choice for many people.
If the above statistics have you all charged up to begin your walking workout, here is exactly what you need to do:
Take to a daily regime of walking briskly for half an hour every day. Even if you want a break on weekends, that is a neat 150 minutes a week. Look at this in another way, then, 10,000 steps a day should be your ultimate goal. It looks daunting at first, agreed, but it is certainly achievable. You can begin your journey with 6000 steps per day. Then, try to shoot up your step count by 500 to 1000 steps every week until you reach 10,000 steps. Weekends can be a great time to increase your step counts. Also, you can even break it up into multiple sessions as per your convenience. You will be really surprised at how these small improvements can lead to big results.
To reap the advantage of these sessions, however, do remember to make use of your fitness tracker. With the help of the tracker, you can ensure that you are in the fat burn heart rate zone. In other words, your heart rate is between 50 to 70% of your maximum heart rate, as you walk. In this zone, what your body does, is to start to tap into your fat stores for its dose of energy instead of using basic sugars and carbohydrates. This, in turn, starts to lead to fat-loss.
As you get used to your new-found exercise routine, you could gradually, if you like, move to exercise at between 70-85% of your maximum heart rate. That your cardio fitness score will continue to jump, is a given!
Pro tip- Do ensure that you structure your day in such a way that walking becomes a part of your daily habit. It could be waking up half an hour early or slotting your walking exercise in any other convenient slot. Plugin your earphones and take to that preppy playlist. There is no way you could be bored! Remember it is said that it takes 21 days to form a new habit. The key, therefore, is to be consistent!
Here’s to your walking exercise regimen …..and to your good health!