Walking is a simple, low entry-level form of exercise which delivers plenty of benefits. Anybody can get into walking as a form of exercise. Fitness walking is slightly more challenging but brisk walking will get you fit quicker and delivers even more health benefits.
Moreover, brisk walking is still easier than other forms of aerobics and studies show is healthier than running.
Together with supporting your immune system, brisk walking will get you fit and healthy by boosting your metabolism, burning fat, strengthening your joints and muscles, and building stamina.
Physical exercise is also an effective way to reduce stress. A report published by the NIH confirmed that “stress is a major contributing factor to the six leading causes of death in the United States: cancer, coronary heart disease, accidental injuries, respiratory disorders, cirrhosis of the liver and suicide.”
We have already documented the health benefits of brisk walking and suggested that fitness walking could be a starting point to help tackle the obesity problems plaguing the US and the UK.
In this article, we’re going to take a closer look at just how risking walking gets you fit and helps you to maintain higher levels of health.
But firstly, let’s take a look at the benefits.
Benefits of Brisk Walking
According to the Mayo Clinic brisk walking delivers numerous key benefits that hope to raise your fitness profile and keep you healthy. Their list is as follows:
- Maintain a healthy weight and lose body fat
- Prevent or manage various conditions, including heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, cancer and type 2 diabetes
- Improve cardiovascular fitness
- Strengthen your bones and muscles
- Improve muscle endurance
- Increase energy levels
- Improve your mood, cognition, memory and sleep
- Improve your balance and coordination
- Strengthen immune system
- Reduce stress and tension
How Brisk Walking Gets You Fit
Like other forms of physical exercise, brisk walking increases your blood flow and helps you burn calories. Because you breathe more deeply, you also get more oxygen into your system – which is good for the body and brain.
Studies have also shown that physical forms of exercise that push your body behind the usual limits helps to increases metabolism. This helps you digest food better and helps to keep the weight down.
Once you hit this level you can still eat all your favourite foods (occasionally) without worrying that you’ll pile on the pounds.
Whilst brisk walking gets you fit, the amount of weight you lose and the time it takes will depend on a number of factors:
- Your starting weight
- The speed and distance you walk
- How many times do you walk a week (4-5 days is recommended)
- How you manage your diet
If you’re overweight, or if you haven’t exercised for a while, don’t rush into a brisk walking routine. Listen to your body. It will be better to start off with the light to moderate walk and throw in some fitness walking over short stretches.
Providing you’re pushing the limits and taking deep breaths, you can be assured your walking program is working. If you’re taking up brisk walking to get you fit and healthy, gradually pick up the pace more often and for longer.
How To Lose Weight Brisk Walking
A combination of brisk walking and healthy eating should help you shed about 10 pounds in a month.
The recommended amount of exercise for weight loss is around 4 hours a week (250 minutes). So if you plan for 5 days of 50 minutes brisk walking you should be right on the money.
Over time you will build stamina and increase the intensity and distance of your workout. This will help you to burn more calories and stay fit, healthy and feeling great.
Initially. plan for a 50-minute stint. However, brisk walking gets you fit quicker if you are hitting the right pace – about 2-3 miles an hour.
Once you are comfortable walking 3 miles in an hour, your next target should be to reach levels where you can complete 3 miles in 40 minutes. Moving on to the next level will see you walking 4 miles an hour.
To measure your performance use a pedometer that either counts your distance or the number of steps you take. 3 miles is about 7000 steps. You can easily count your steps by downloading the sweat coin app.
In addition, you can convert the number of steps you take into digital tokens which you can exchange for merchandise. 1000 steps will earn you 1SWC – so 3 miles will bag you 7SWC.
Is that motivation enough for you?
The world we live in is highly stressful. As a matter of fact, it’s more stressful than we realise. An ADAA survey on stress and anxiety disorders reveals that 7 out of 10 adults in the United States say stress interferes at least moderately with their lives.
Stress causes brain fog and can affect your decision making, work performance, relationships and health. When you’re stressed the brain releases toxic chemicals such as adrenaline and cortisol.
When you’re in a constant state of stress, it impairs your quality of life. It’s often the case that we distract ourselves with TV, social media, chatting to friends or simply thinking just to take our attention away from the discomfort of anxiety you feel in your chest and stomach.
Experiencing high levels of stress on a daily basis impairs your mood and puts your health at risk.
Brisk walking and other forms of physical exercise release endorphins which naturally make you feel better. Endorphins make you feel as though you’ve got more energy and the feeling of anxiety is not as intense.
You will also sleep better which also reduces stress. Because brisk walking gets you fit, you will notice improvements in all areas of your life.
Studies have shown that people that walk quicker live longer. If you start a brisk walking program you will naturally start walking quicker as well. And that can only be a good thing.
So download the sweat coin app today and see how many steps your body will take you. The only way to improve health and fitness is to start somewhere. And walking is something you probably do every day anyway.