Walking workouts are a great way to stay active. Not only that but brisk walking is known to improve your overall wellbeing by invigorating body, mind and soul.
Brisk walking has been linked with numerous health benefits including lower stress levels and increasing chemicals in the brain that promote good mental health.
Walking workouts can also boost cognitive function, protect you from cardiovascular diseases and improve sleep.
The health benefits of exercise, in general, cannot be underestimated. Walking is a light to moderate form of exercise so is good for beginners and people that are less able to engage in rigorous physical exercise.
Moreover, walking is regarded as a safer option than many other sports. There is very little risk of injury or accident and you don’t have to spend a fortune on equipment. A comfortable pair of walking shoes will suffice.
Walking Workouts Help You Lose Weight
Another benefit of brisk walking is that you use more energy which means you burn fat and lose weight. Brisk walking involves walking at a pace of around 2-3mph / 4-5kph.
When you’re going at full pelt you should barely be able to speak. Brisk walking makes the heart and lungs work harder. You take in more oxygen which is pumped around the body to the brain.
Oxygen is important for health. It helps to clear out toxic waste that collects in the bloodstream every day. Without oxygen, your body’s natural defence systems do not work as effectively.
Your immune system also gets a boost. Oxygen plays a key role in the creation of white blood cells which are needed to create antibodies. The more antibodies you have the better equipped your immune system is at staving off colds and viruses such as Covid-19.
A brisk walking program is not the only way you can engage in a walking workout. For a change of scenery, head into nature.
The Wonders Of Nature Walks
Hiking is an underrated pastime despite its obvious benefits; spectacular views and excellent exercise.
A growing body of evidence also reveals that spending time in nature has positive effects on our psychological makeup. Studies show time and again that people feel better after spending time in nature – regardless of whether they were performing exercise or not.
As if to prove a point, the Japanese introduced a type of ecotherapy they call shinrin-yoku. The name roughly translates to “forest bathing” or “taking in the forest atmosphere”.
The idea of forest bathing is to connect with nature. Whilst this can be achieved by walking, it can also be achieved simply by sitting.
Researchers do not fully understand why nature has such a profound effect on us. What they have discovered, however, is that trees emit a natural chemical called ‘phytoncide’ which seems to have a beneficial impact on the human nervous system.
Prompted by scientific research, physicians in the UK have started recommending “Green Social Prescriptions” to patients. The initiative is funded by the National Health Service to assess the effects of outdoor activities.
With that in mind, you can see that hiking has a threefold benefit; a walking workout for body, mind and soul.
These Hills Were Made For Walking Workouts
Hiking generally requires you to exert yourself more without pushing yourself to walk at an unnatural pace – like you do with brisk walking.
The uneven terrain means you exert more energy and use more of your muscles for power. If you hiking in areas where there is some degree of incline, you will reap more physical rewards from your walking workout.
In addition, investing in a good pair of hiking boots and carrying a backpack can help you lose weight. Hiking boots are typically heavier than standard shoes and carrying extra weight on your back also means you expend more energy.
Despite having to put in more effort when you are hiking as opposed to general walking, it’s not always as noticeable as a brisk walk. Unless you’re tackling a steep incline that puts a burn in your thighs and calves, hiking feels like you’re out for a stroll.
Walking in unfamiliar surroundings is also more interesting and engaging. If you enjoy exploring new places, adopting hiking as your walking workout will be naturally invigorating.
If you have not exercised for a while, start with a short trek to test your body’s limits. You can always work up to longer or more challenging walks. For those of you with pre-existing medical conditions that affect balance and muscle, you may want to consider investing in trekking poles to help reduce the load on your legs.
Download the Sweatcoin App
Sweatcoin wants to encourage people to stay healthy. Our solution was to build an app that rewards you for walking – simply by downloading the sweatcoin app to your smartphone.
The app has a built-in pedometer that records every step you take. For every 1000 steps, you earn 1 SWC – a digital token that can be traded in for merchandise with any of our 300 partners.
SWC, therefore, essentially work in the same way as other cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. The only difference is that transactions are made directly from your mobile wallet – so there is no need for you to go to an ATM to withdraw money.
So the benefits of walking workouts with the sweatcoin app are also threefold; you improve mental and physical health, get to discover new places and reap the rewards for your efforts.
Whilst walking workouts are good for the body and mind, some would say that shopping is good for the soul.