For those who struggle to maintain a gym membership by not actually going for regular workouts or for people who look at running as something they do only when being chased, here’s a comforting thought: evidence shows that walking for exercise can be a cardio workout as well as help you to lose weight.
People have two legs meant for walking. And it doesn’t require any special training to put one foot in front of the other and move forward. The idea is to move. The act of walking is proving to have numerous health benefits, both physical and mental.
Walking can clear the mind of clutter and stress, especially if you are able to immerse yourself in nature. Even strolling along city blocks on a regular basis is beneficial.
Couch potatoes take note: In 2019, a randomized control trial of sedentary employees showed that they experienced similar benefits on body weight, fat mass and body fat percentage from continuous or intermittent walking.1 It all adds up to heart-healthy, weight-reducing results just from walking.
Taking it up a notch are the people who look like they may have wandered off of a ski hill to walk around with poles in their hands: Nordic walkers. In June 2022, the Canadian Journal of Cardiology published a randomized control trial of patients with coronary heart disease. Those in the Nordic walking program experienced greater health improvements than those doing high-intensity training or moderate-to-vigorous training.2
Even if you are allergic to just the thought of exercise, don’t you think you should at least take a walk?
Cardiovascular (aerobic) exercise means getting your heart, lungs and large muscle groups working. Walking at a speed of at least 2.5 miles per hour qualifies as cardio.3