A Walk is as Good as a Run
Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA
Are you a runner whose impact days are numbered? Or a walker who wonders whether you need to pick up the pace but really don’t want to?
Happy news for you non-joggers, former runners, and wanna be walkers who want a strong heart without the joint stress. Brisk walking may be as good for your heart health as a run.
Certainly walking isn’t as intense as running. However, both activities target similar muscle groups, which may be why results in improving heart health are so similar. Research suggests that the type of exercise may not be as important as how much you go, go go. So move forward; locomote; get your gait on!
Heart Smart Fun Fit Facts
Walking for at least 30 minutes a day can help you:
- Maintain body weight and lower the risk of obesity.
- Enhance mental well being. Think back to walks you’ve taken. Ever start out stressed and come home happy? Mood moment!
- Reduce the risk of breast and colon cancer. May not sound sexy, but avoiding disease is pretty important as we age, right?
- Reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. See above. Combine it with the fact that women are at greater risk than men for heart disease and we might as well open that front door and get going.
- Reduce the risk of osteoporosis. I want young personage bones and am willing to walk for them. And you?
- Improve blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
- Improve blood lipid profile. Make your doctor happy.
- Reduce the risk of non-insulin dependent (type 2) diabetes. Have you heard that this is one of the fastest growing diseases in the US? Don’t contribute to this stat.
Want some easy, practical walking tips to get you started or rev you up more? Watch our short video on Walking for Weight Loss (and More). Then bust a move to our post Great Gait: 7 Steps to Better Walking to really get the most out of your walks.
Walk For Weight Loss (video)
More Life and Pep in Your Step
Another Fun Fit Fact about walking is that for every hour you perambulate (just had to use that jaunty word), your life expectancy may increase by two hours. Not only that, but a faster stride may also be a predictor of a longer life. (Convinced yet? Read our post Can Walking Really Get You to Your Fit Destination?)
Of all the cardio exercise options out there, walking has the lowest dropout rate! It’s the easiest, most accessible, positive change you can make to improve your heart health. And the benefits are exponential. The more you walk, the greater your odds of lowering heart disease risk. What are you walking for?
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