You might think that starting to incorporate exercise into your life means sweating it out in a packed gym or spending hours chasing the treadmill.
Well, not according to scientists at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California, who recently concluded that walking can, in fact, be more beneficial to your health than running, and just 30 minutes a day could transform your health.
Research found that walking reduced the risk of heart disease by 9.3% whilst running reduced it by just 4.5% on a study of 33,060 runners and 15,045 walkers aged 18 to 80, observed over a period of six years.
So walk this way to discover how hitting the pavement could help you drop the pounds (and keep them off for good).
1. Walking for weight loss
Walking for just 30 minutes each day at 2mph burns around 75 calories. Upping that to 3mph and your burn rate hits 100 calories – that’s 4 squares of Dairy Milk to you and me!
2. Walking for Diabetes
As well as reducing the risk of Type-2 diabetes by up to 60 percent, walking is also an essential part of the management of Type 1. Studies have shown that a short 10-minute walk after a meal can help reduce blood glucose levels.
3. Walking to boost your mood
In the UK, most of us are deficient in vitamin D, especially in the colder, winter months. Walking outside can boost your levels of the sunshine vitamin, instantly raising levels in the body to improve your mood and help protect your immune system.
4. Walking to tone up
As well as promoting fat loss and improving cardio-vascular health walking can also help tone up your legs, bum and core. Try walking at a slight incline with your tummy pulled in and posture upright for maximum burn.
5. Walking for mental health
In a world where we are all constantly plugged into technology, taking 30 minutes out of your day to get some fresh air and de-stress is essential. Researchers at the University of Stirling found that walking could play a pivotal role in reducing the effects of depression, acting as a distraction from anxiety.
Did you know? Walking 10,000 steps a day burns 2500 calories a week – that’s a pound of weight loss!
How can I incorporate walking into my lifestyle?
- Count your steps – Most smartphones now contain step-o-meters to keep an eye on yours and challenge yourself to hit those golden 10,000 steps a day.
- Take the stairs – That old chestnut but it really works! Climbing a standard set of stairs four times a day would burn approximately 116 calories.
- Get a pet – Sounds like a drastic measure but research shows that dog owners walk up to three times as long per day as non-dog owners studies say.
- Ditch the car – Walking instead of driving for just 3 journeys a week can save you 200 calories and reduces your carbon footprint by 5%!
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