Sometimes, we find ourselves craving a nice breezy walk to help clear our minds or just to get out of the house (if you telecommute like so many do). I go for two outdoor walks a day and have found 3 major advantages to my strolls. First, my dog gets the exercise he needs. Second, I get to start fresh after every walk. And third, I get to know all my neighbors!
I’m also lucky because on top of my walks outside and no matter the weather, I can walk inside on my Rebel Treadmill 1000. Walking is the main exercise I do, and apparently, I’m not the only one!
In a recent NPR article that discusses the findings of every day walking as exercise, about “half of all Americans surveyed in a recent NPR poll say they exercise regularly.” Those who do regularly exercise say that walking is the exercise they engage in most frequently. And that’s not a bad thing at all. In fact, Dr. Tim Church, found that “you’re actually getting, probably, 95 percent or more of the benefits when you’re walking as compared to jogging.”
So for those that can’t find enough time in the day to exercise, but can find the time to walk or have added a treadmill into the office, they still are doing their body right. Researchers tested the benefits of walking every day with a study that focused on 464 postmenopausal women for 6 months. All woman walked at a slow to moderate pace on a treadmill, enough to easily have a conversation while walking. This pace is similar to the pace you might walk on at a treadmill desk. The study participants were split up into 3 different groups walking for 73 minutes, 136 minutes, and 190 minutes respectively. The findings were interesting.
“One of the things we really learned from the study — and I guess we shouldn’t be surprised, but we were — was how often the group that was only doing 73 minutes a week at a very slow pace benefited, no matter what we looked at,” Church said. Probably the most important benefit, he says, was that metabolism of blood sugar improved; that can lower the risk of diabetes. The walkers reaped benefits like less anxiety and fewer symptoms of depression, as well as increased energy.
At this time of year, it’s especially nice to hear that you don’t need to carve out a large part of your day to do some exercise. Adding walking into your day is easy and the benefits are endless. So throw on that FitBit and get your steps in!