Walking has a leisurely sound to it. It’s associated with romance, such as long walks on the beach or a walk at sunset. It offers so much more than just a physical workout. It can provide relaxation. You can relieve stress with walking, while boosting your energy. For those just starting a program of exercise, it’s a great addition. It is exceptional for extremely obese people, too, since it puts less stress on the ankles, back or knees and a good way to start back if you’re just recovering from an injury.
While regular exercise can reduce depression, anxiety and stress, walking may be better.
There are a number of studies that show that exercise provides relief for patients with anxiety and depression, quickly boosting the feeling of peace and a good mood. While many studies were based on working out for 45 minutes in the gym, some more recent studies show that the effects of a brisk 10-minute walk may be the same and bring results just as quickly. It can provide relief for several hours.
Walking won’t replace a workout for overall fitness, but as a stress reliever, it may be the perfect solution.
You won’t build more flexibility when you walk or upper body strength, but as a stress reliever, walking may be perfect. Stress and anxiety can rear their ugly selves suddenly. It’s not always convenient to go to the gym, nor is it a good idea to workout for forty-five minutes several times a day. However, walking is always easy to do. There’s no changing clothing and you can reboot that good feeling when you have a few minutes throughout the day.
Want to get a little fancy and get a bit more from your walk?
A HIIT—high intensity interval training—workout is one of the best for getting results. You can get more health and fitness benefits than just stress release from a walk by modifying it to one. Just vary the speed and intensity of the walk, walking at top speed for a while until your heart rate goes up and then moderating the speed in a short recovery period. Once your heart rate returns to normal, walk fast again.
- Walking may be healthier for you than running, according to a study in Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology. The study found that people who walked on a regular basis often were healthier than those who ran. If you love running, don’t quit it, but walking is easier on the joints.
- While walking is something that most people can do without help, there are some things to remember about form. Good posture is important and holding your head high and in line with your body gives the best results.
- If you’re uncomfortable working out in the gym because you’re too out of shape, start walking. Of course, being out of shape is exactly why you should go to the gym, but some people like to be fitter when they first start.
- Don’t forget to take longer strides and swing your arms fully. If you’re stepping out with your right foot, your left arm should be brought forward and visa versa. Swinging your arms makes it more of a workout and burns more calories, plus adds to your natural stride.