Losing Weight – The waist circumference of each group was reduced the same amount when they walked moderately and briskly in a recent study sponsored by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. Thus, it did not seem to matter if you walked fast or moderately, just getting out and walking helped. This can help reduce your risk of obesity.
Walking for Cardio-Health – Walking faster does improve your cardiorespiratory fitness. If you choose to walk at a moderate intensity pace you need to walk longer to achieve the same effects. You can also increase the intensity by walking uphill or increasing the incline on your treadmill.
Glucose Tolerance – This study used the glucose tolerance test to see if calories from sugar were efficiently processed by the body within two hours. This test can predict a person’s risk of developing diabetes. Only those walking briskly saw an improvement in the test. Walking moderately for a long period or shorter period of time did not have an effect.
Other benefits from walking 30 minutes a day:
• Improve your blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and blood sugar levels.
• Lower your stress level.
• Improve your mental health
• Reduce your risk of osteoporosis
Choose the type of walking that works best in your lifestyle and what you will participate in. If you don’t enjoy it, you probably will not do it long. Riding a bike instead of walking can provide similar benefits. Some people enjoy jogging and can cut back on the amount of time they jog due to the higher intensity of the exercise
Do you have a walking routine that needs a change? Try walking alternately fast for a few minutes and then slower, or walk fast for a quarter of a mile and then slower and then fast again. Find a park to walk at and enjoy the beauty of the scenery around you as you walk.
Walk with a friend and/or a dog. I walk with a friend and my dog. My dog gets so excited to take a walk; she starts barking when I get the lease out. Why not try walking with a friend?
Author: Pat Brinkman, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension
Reviewer: Susan Zies, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension
American Heart Association, (2014). American Heart Association, Available at http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/PhysicalActivity/Walking/Why-Walking_UCM_461770_Article.jsp
Neithercott, T., (2012). 4 ways to boost your walking workout, American Diabetes Association, Available at http://www.diabetesforecast.org/2012/mar/4-ways-to-boost-your-walking-workout.html?print=t
Ross, R., Hudson, R., Stotz, P., and Lam, M. (2015). Effects of Exercise Amount and Intensity on Abdominal Obesity and Glucose Tolerance in Obese Adults. Annals of Internal Medicine 162(5), 325-334.
Schardt, D. (2015). The best way to walk to lose weight: slow or brisk?, Nutrition Action, Available at http://www. nutritionaction.com/daily/exercise-for-health/the-best-way-to-walk-to-lose-weight/