So, you’re walking daily but is it enough exercise?

Today, your mind is probably saturated with information that exercise can protect against various diseases, keep humans moving and functioning in their old age, and balance their mental faculties.

Although there are so many forms of exercise, the easiest of all is walking, an activity that leaves a positive impact on our health and well-being.

From the time we take our first steps as babies to the time we leave this planet, we never forget this locomotor ability unless there is a brain injury.

Walking with others can turn exercise into an enjoyable social occasion, but is walking enough to be considered exercise?

It’s a question that has been asked of many athletic trainers and medical professionals.

Depending on who you talk to, everyone has different points of view.

For many people, especially older people, walking alone is enough; Of course, any exercise is better than none.

However, there are several aspects of exercise that cannot be obtained simply by walking, especially if you are simply strolling.

Dozens of studies are emerging showing the benefits of walking faster and the dangers of walking slowly every day.

A 2006 study by researchers at the University of Sydney published in The British Journal of Sports Medicine found that the faster a person walks on average, the lower their risk of both all-cause mortality and death related to heart disease.

In another 2021 study, “Obesity, gait pace, and risk of severe covid-19 and mortality: UK Biobank analysis” published in the International Journal of ObesityThe data revealed that people who walk slowly are up to four times more likely to die from severe cases of covid-19 and more than twice as likely to contract severe cases of the virus than their brisk-walking counterparts.

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A good walking pace

If you can walk independently and maintain a speed of 4 to 6 km per hour, then this is considered a moderate to brisk walk and sufficient cardio, depending on your age and fitness level.

At this rate, you should be breathing noticeably harder, but still be able to speak in full sentences (not sing!). All you need is 30 minutes a day, five days a week, at this speed to improve heart health.

Most people can expect to walk a mile (1.6 km) in 15 to 22 minutes, according to data compiled in a 2019 study spanning five decades published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Several readers have also asked if they should walk faster or longer distances.

Well, both offer benefits, and if your schedule allows or your mind is in chaos, opt for a longer walk instead, but slow down a bit based on your ability.

You’ll still reap the heart health benefits, but with a lower risk of injury.

Over time, your body will adapt to build resistance; thereafter, you will be able to increase speed and accelerate to combine distance and speed.

Longer walks along scenic routes allow you to clear confused thoughts and focus better. It does wonders for your mental health, which is just as important as physical health.

When you’re in a bad mood, walking in nature can help reduce rumination about negative experiences, which increases activity in the brain associated with negative emotions and increases your risk of depression.

However, to optimize the health benefits, you should incorporate a combination of aerobic and strength training exercises.

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While walking strengthens your legs, it doesn’t do much for your upper body or core muscles.

So, consider adding two weekly sessions of some physical activity that challenges your strength and balance to the mix: push-ups, sit-ups, planks, etc.

Advances in medical science allow us to live longer. This mix of walking and strength training will help us stay well in our youth and remain independent as we age.

Revathi Murugappan is a certified physical trainer who tries to fight gravity and continues to dance to express herself artistically and nurture her soul. For more information, email [email protected]. The information contained in this column is for general educational purposes only. Neither The star nor does the author make any warranties about the accuracy, completeness, functionality, usefulness, or other warranties as to such information. The star and the author disclaim any and all liability for loss, property damage, or personal injury suffered directly or indirectly from reliance on such information.

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