Vary your walking workout to keep it interesting and you will also burn more calories. Incorporate a couple of inclines into your walking route. If you exercise on a treadmill, set it at a slope for part of the time. Walking more extreme inclines makes your workout more like hiking, which burns twice the amount of calories than walking on a flat route.
Sometimes there's nothing like a good stretch to relax the mind and body after an aerobic workout. Take five or 10 minutes after aerobic exercise and treat yourself and stretch. If you tend to have tight muscles all the time and stretching at the end doesn't quite do it for you, then try warming up for five minutes to get the muscles filled with blood, stop and stretch, and then continue with your workout. You might really like the feeling.
“Carrying extra weight will increase the intensity and your calories burned without requiring a lot of extra effort, depending on the weight you use,” adds Spraul. "You can hold dumbbells in your hands or put some heavy books in a backpack — whatever works for you! It doesn't have to be complicated. Just make sure that the added weight is not throwing you off balance.”
I walked along my bus route, assuming that sooner or later, my arrival at another bus stop would coincide with the arrival of my bus. But it didn’t. So I walked some more, eventually making it to work, a mere 20 minutes later than I normally would have, calmer than I might have anticipated, and feeling like I’d accomplished something vaguely mammoth before 10am. I also felt liberated. Who wants to be enslaved to their public transport systems, beholden to the schedules, the whims and capriciousness. Suddenly, I had another option.
By paying just a little attention to your posture as you walk, you can help tone your abs and reduce your waistline. Concentrate on straightening your spine to create space between your ears and shoulders, relax your shoulders and pull in your stomach and pelvic floor. This helps your shoulders naturally rotate and works the abdominal muscles. And swinging your arms (backwards and forwards as you walk) faster not only increases your speed but also tones your arms, shoulders and upper back. So there’s a double benefit here, by thinking a little about how you walk you can improve your posture and get a better workout too!
Add a simple four-minute stretch routine a few days a week after your walk to maintain your natural range of motion. Just stand up, even if you're at work fully dressed in work clothes. Put one leg back, bend the front knee, and lean forward to stretch the calf muscle. For thighs, grab your ankle from behind, keep your knees close together. Lean forward to stretch your lower back.
Breathing increases during aerobic exercise to bring oxygen into your body. Once inside your body the oxygen is (1) processed by the lungs, (2) transferred to the bloodstream where it is carried by red blood cells to the heart, and then (3) pumped by the heart to the exercising muscles via the circulatory system, where it is used by the muscle to produce energy.
/* */ var ajaxurl = "https://www.developgoodhabits.com/wp-admin/admin-ajax.php"; HomeAboutCheck Out Habit Videos!Read Top-Rated Habit BooksContact 21 Benefits of Walking: How 10,000 Daily Steps Leads to Lifetime HealthOne of the biggest tools for success also happens to be one of the simplest ones.Walking each and every day.You do not need to run marathons or triathlons to get a significant health improvement. Instead you get a lot of fitness and emotional gains from a small amount of daily walking.In today’s post, I will cover the many benefits of walking. You'll see how it can improve your mental, physical and emotional health.eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'developgoodhabits_com-medrectangle-4','ezslot_2',111,'0']));Plus you'll discover a few ideas on how to motivate yourself to walk each and every day. (And if you're looking for additional tools ​to lose weight and maximize your exercise, then check out these 11 apps that will help you plan out healthy meals.)A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. So let's take the first one...The Benefits of Walking DailyWalking is something most people can do, regardless of their individual level of fitness.Regardless of whether someone has an active and physical lifestyle or whether the normal physical activity is a short trip from the couch to the refrigerator, increasing the amount of daily walking has significant benefits for both short and long term.Here are just a few of the benefits of daily walking:Low impact way to get in shape and lose weight. Walking between 7500 and 10000 steps a day is one of the keys of fitness.Improves sleepDecreases hypertension, reducing risks for heart attacks and strokes. Walking daily has been shown to increase good cholesterol (HDL) and decrease bad cholesterol (LDL).Reduces stress​Can quickly help you improve your health when balanced with other positive habits, ​like drinking a green superfood powder.Increases balance and enduranceIncreases sexual desire and satisfactionSlows mental declineImproves the mood and battles the effects of depressionGives you time to think. Daily walking can act as a form of meditation. It gives you time to mull over ideas. If you have problems at work or at home, a nice walk could help you to come up with solutions.Reduces fatigueOnce you form the habit, it is easy to turn it into a lifestyle change. Of all the forms of fitness and exercise routines, walking has the highest compliance rate.It can make you smarter. Daily walking can make you sharper and smarter and reduces the chances for long term mental disease because it helps to increase blood flow through the brain. READ: 10,000 Steps Blueprint 11 Steps to a Daily Walking Habit:1. Set a daily target.8,000 to 10,000 steps a day is a decent goal for daily walking. “Walk more” is not specific enough! The power of small wins where you can make a “difficult” but “achievable” goal, such as 10,000 steps a day, means that you constantly challenge yourself.This will help to make walking an ingrained habit. You get positive reinforcement each and every single day when you reach your goal.eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'developgoodhabits_com-banner-1','ezslot_3',680,'0']));“Walk more” is not specific enough! 8,000 to 10,000 steps a day is a decent goal for daily walking.2. Make it a 30 Day Habit Challenge (30DHC).One thing I preach about here on the Develop Good Habits (DGH) website is the simple process of the 30 day challenge. If you force yourself to do something each and every day for 30 days, it begins to become an ingrained habit.For 30 days force yourself to walk each and every day. No excuses. You will find that you feel the positive effects and it becomes a habit in this short periods of time.3. Keep a daily log.You can use a notebook, spreadsheet, digital app, website or write it on the wall. How you keep track of your daily walking does not matter.eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'developgoodhabits_com-box-4','ezslot_5',149,'0']));All that is important is that you keep track each and every single day. Set daily and weekly goals. Track your results and see how you improve over time.4. Set reminders to walk.Making a goal of 10,000 steps a day does not mean you need to set aside a block of 2 ½ hours for a walk. Set reminders on your one of your electronic devices (computer, cell, etc.) on app like Todoist to buzz you and let you know to take a break and a quick walk.A simple 5 minute walk each hour throughout your working day will put you on the path to reaching the daily walking goal, as well as making you feel better throughout the day (and likely increasing your productivity).5. Buy a Pedometer.It is important to get an idea of how much your walk each and every day. It is also important to all of those logs you will be keeping.There are quite a few pedometers on the market: simple pedometers, pedometers that will do the log-keeping for you, and even ones that make a “game” out of your daily walking. A Pedometer is a simple tool, but an important one.Check out this article on the Best Pedometers, where I discuss 4 different types of pedometers and you can see the best pedometers for Cheapskates, Techies, Multi-taskers and Gamers/Social Addicts.6. Increase incidental walking.Incidental walking is the walking you do each and every day, just to get from Point A to Point B. It is actually quite easy to increase chances of reaching your 10,000 step goal by increasing your incidental walking.Do not search for the closet parking spot, park far away and walk to the stores. If you need to pick something up at the grocery store, don’t drive ¼ of a mile - walk it.7. Make it fun.One of the good things about walking it that it CAN be enjoyable. Bring your iPod. Vary your location. Take a walk on the beach one day, a walk through the city the next and a walk in the forest the day after that.Walking does not need to be a chore. It's a positive lifestyle change that can become quite enjoyable.You can take pictures, meet people and have a good time. Walking does not need to be a chore. Remember it is a positive lifestyle change, and it can become a habit that's quite enjoyable.8. Buy a good pair of sneakers.If you are going to walk a lot, make sure you have comfortable and well cushioned walking shoes. Your legs and feet will thank you, and the lack of pain and discomfort will make the process go smoothly.To find the best pair of sneakers check out the best: Walking Shoes for Men OR Walking Shoes for WomenAdditionally, if your walking takes you off road and is more about hiking than a nice walk through the city, you may want to think about getting footwear for both hiking and walking.The different terrain of hiking rough trails and off-road means your feet have different needs than city walking.Here are two places to help you find the right hiking shoes/boots for your needs. The best hiking boots for women OR hiking boots for men9. Socialize and walk.If you are able to find some friends or family to walk with. This is a good idea for two reasons. The first is that others will help you to stick to your plan. The second is that walking with others can be simply more fun. A nice stroll on with a friend or family member will seem more enjoyable than trying to reach an arbitrary goal.Walk with someone and the walk will be over before you know it. Even if no family and friends are interested, you could join a local “walking club” and find others who will be interested in walking and socializing.10. Drink more water.It is important to drink water before and after your walk (for long walks: during the walk). Staying hydrated helps to keep you feeling great and increases the be positive effects of your walking.Staying hydrated helps to keep you feeling great and increases the be positive effects of your walking.11. Reward yourself.If you have been good about reaching your walking goals, reward yourself. Buy that new dress, go out to the movies or do something to “reward” your efforts. (Sidebar: grabbing a “Big Mac” might be counterproductive here) 155 Ways to Reward Yourself Walk your way to Fitness and Mental HealthMany people have grand ideas of fitness and exercise, only to fall short over a long period of time. Walking has the highest “success ratio” of any new exercise and fitness regime. It is an easy lifestyle change, which brings about huge benefits.When people begin to walk more frequently they often find it a fun and enjoyable part of their routine. They look forward to each and every day, rather than being something they “have to do” to stay fit and healthy.Over time the intensity and duration of the walks can be increased. Remember that for calorie burning purposes, you burn just as many calories walking a mile as you do running it. (The run just gets it done quicker).There are quite a few benefits of walking you will enjoy from making a minimum of walking 10,000 steps part of your regime.It is an essential part of your physical and mental health. Daily walking will make you feel better and become more productive and happy.15 Health Benefits of Walking Every DayWe could all benefit from being a little healthier, but many of us aren’t quite sure where to begin. Fortunately, something as simple as walking every day can greatly improve your health, help you lose weight, and get you feeling more confident about yourself and your body.There are dozens of reasons how walking every day can help you improve your lifestyle, but we’ve compiled this list of the 15 major benefits to every day walking.1. Increase Your LifespanStaying healthy is a crucial part to living a long and happy life, but you don’t need to be running marathons into your seventies to reap the benefits of staying active. A new study has shown that frequent walking can add up to 7.2 years onto the life of an individual.According to the study, the amount of walking the individual does will influence the number of years added to the individual’s life. Even just 75 minutes a week, less than 11 minutes of walking a day, can add almost 2 years onto an individual's life. The American Heart Association recommends that individuals get about 150 minutes of walking a week, which comes to just over 20 minutes a day.For most people, getting 20 minutes of walking is easy. Taking a pet for a walk or just strolling around the block for some relaxation is a great way to get the exercise you need to live longer.2. Manage Your WeightYou don't need to go on extreme diets or exercise rigorously to begin losing weight. Just walking can be enough to see a few pounds drop away. When you walk for extended periods of time, you can actually find that walking helps jump start your weight loss program and may even help you walk off an entire pants size in just a few weeks.If you're looking to use walking to help you lose weight, you may need to engage in a stronger program than just walking from Point A to Point B. Adding interval walking, keeping a certain pace, and walking with exercise bands are all great ways to help promote weight loss as you walk.3. Burns FatWhen we're looking to lose weight or just feel better in our own skin, burning fat is one of the biggest priorities we may have. Many of us who suffer with excess body fat got that way because of a lack of exercise and movement. Luckily, it isn't difficult to begin losing weight, it just takes a few days of brisk walking.Like discussed in point #2, walking is usually used more as a boost to a more intense workout plan. While walking can help you to lose excess fat, you probably aren't going to get the body of your dreams from walking alone. That being said, brisk walking can help you prevent belly fat from growing or from gaining fat.4. Helps Overweight People Get into ShapeSimilar to points #2 and #3, frequent walking is a great exercise for anyone looking to jump start a weight loss plan or workout regimen, particularly those who are currently overweight. Walking is an easy way for individuals who are overweight to get the movement and exercise they need. As walking gets easier, they can begin jogging or running to further promote weight loss and getting in shape.5. Reduces StressWalking can actually reduce stress in a number of ways, including setting your mind into a meditative state, boost endorphins, and give you more energy. The stress-reducing benefits of walking increase even more if you walk outside or bring a friend along.When you walk, you are getting exercise while still taking the time to appreciate your surroundings, which can allow you to forget about your stresses and worries, catch up with a friend in a non-stressful environment, and get the benefits of a good exercise.6. Reduces DementiaThe way that walking helps manage stress is very similar to the way it can help prevent dementia. A recent study showed that just a 20 minute walk a day actually reduced the susceptibility to dementia by 40%. Researchers on the study believe that walking can reduce the risk of dementia by opening up the window of the mind. Walking keeps the brain stress-free, releases endorphins, and allows the blood to flow more freely and fluidly through the brain.The best way walking can reduce the risk of dementia is through preventative measures, but it can also reduce some of the symptoms if patients of dementia begin walking regularly.7. Easy on the JointsWalking has a very low impact on the joints, so it is a great form of exercise for individuals with problems or pain in their joints. Walking is also a great exercise for individuals with joint pain because it is low cost and can be done anywhere, unlike other forms of exercise that may require a certain location, like a pool, or special equipment. Additionally, walking is also one of the top low-impact exercises that can help you lose weight and burn calories.Walking can also be a great way for athletes who have been injured to continue getting exercise they need. As something that is easy on the joints, going for frequent walks can allow them to stay mobile while they are recovering from their injury without needing to worry about compromising their condition.8. Lowers Blood PressureExercise in general can help you to keep your blood pressure at normal, lower rates. Luckily, walking is included in that spectrum and you don't even need to walk for long distance.If you are having trouble finding or making the time to get an adequate exercise in, walking for just three separate times a day can help you keep your blood pressure low.Taking a short, brisk walk in the morning, mid-day, and in the evening can be just as beneficial as getting 30 minutes of intense exercise when it comes to your blood pressure.Walking is an exercise that can help you to keep your blood pressure at normal, lower rates.Having high blood pressure can be extremely damaging to the body and the heart and can lead to serious health conditions like stroke or heart disease.Those who have a family history of such diseases or high blood pressure should seriously consider adding a walking routine into their daily lives and habits.9. Strengthens Your HeartYour heart health is incredibly important to your overall health, which means you need to pay attention to all diseases and illness that can harm your heart.Luckily, frequent walks can keep many of those diseases and conditions at bay, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes. Frequent walking is one of the best things you can do for your heart and preventing heart disease from developing.Getting the recommended 20 minutes a day is a great start for ensuring your heart stays healthy and disease-free.10. Strengthens Your Bones and Reduces Your Risk of OsteoporosisOsteoporosis is a serious condition that causes the bones to weaken and become brittle. While there is no cure for osteoporosis, there are a number of things you can do to strengthen your bones, including walking.Walking is considered a weight-bearing exercise, which means it puts weight on the bones. When doing a weight-bearing exercise, you're fighting against gravity to put pressure on the bones, which forces the bones to work more and gain strength.Staying still can be very harmful if you have osteoporosis, but it can also be difficult to find exercises that are not too risky for the condition. This makes walking one of the best exercises for individuals with osteoporosis.As we already mentioned, walking is easy on the joints, so while individuals with osteoporosis do not need to worry about further damaging their bones, they can still burn calories and get the exercise everyone needs.11. Reduces Depression and Improves Your MoodAs we already pointed out, walking can reduce your stress level. Having a high level of stress can cause you to be irritable and may even result in mental conditions like depression.In a recent study, researchers looked at how walking effected those suffering from depression. By having some of the group walk for 25 minutes in different areas of a city, they examined how walking in certain environments influenced the individual's moods.According to the study, those who spent their time walking in green areas had better moods and felt more engaged when they left their walking environment.Whether you're suffering from depression or just need to clear your head, taking about a half hour walk through a park can get you feeling better.This suggests that frequent walking in green, natural areas can reduce feelings of depression and make you feel happier.Whether you're suffering from depression or just need to clear your head, taking about a half hour walk through a park can get you feeling better.12. Boosts Your MemoryWhen we are physically fit and take the time to take care of our bodies, we usually experience higher levels of cognitive function. This means we can think more clearly, have an easier time remembering things, and are less likely to experience things like dementia when we grow older.In a recent study that looked at women, their physical activity, and their level of cognitive decline as they aged, it found that the more physical an individual is, the less likely they are to experience high levels of mental decline.By completing the 20 minutes of walking suggested each day, we can improve our memory and ward off cognitive diseases that can drastically decrease our quality of living.13. Improves Your SleepThere are a number of ways that walking can help you to improve your sleep. Exercise in general helps our body deal with stress, work off excess energy, and better prepare for sleep.As we've addressed in previous points, walking is a great way to deal with our stresses and help to manage our moods, which can frequently result in us staying up all night worrying about things like relationships, work, or finances.Frequent walking can help individuals who have trouble sleeping both by helping them fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.In a study with chronic insomnia sufferers, which includes individuals who cannot fall asleep easily as well as individuals who have trouble staying asleep through the night, they found that a moderate-intensity exercise helped reduce the symptoms associated with chronic insomnia. That same study found that other forms of exercise, like running or lifting weights, did not help individuals sleep.This allows us to believe that even if you are an avid runner or weight lifter, you should still consider adding walking into your routine, especially if you find yourself having trouble staying asleep or falling asleep.14. Tones Up Your Legs, Butt, and StomachWe already addressed the many ways that walking can help you to lose weight and drop fat, but did you know it can also help you tone up? When you switch up your walking routine by adding new elements and locations, you can start to see the benefits you may have only believed came with intense workout plans.There are number of things you can do to tone your legs, butt, and stomach as you walk. One of the biggest suggestions is walking up hill, which can engage many muscles in your body and allow you to see results.If you don't have hills to walk up, find a place that requires you to walk up stairs, which can provide a similar effect. Other ways to increase your muscle movement and engagement when walking is to tighten your muscles as you walk. This gives them a similar experience to being naturally engaged, only they are experiencing manual engagement, causing them to work hard.Additional ways to tone up from walking include picking up your speed. If you're looking to get more benefit from your walking, consider walking faster or for longer periods of time. It is recommended to walk somewhere that you enjoy the scenery, which can increase the amount of time you're willing to walk.15. Boosts Your Vitamin DVitamin D is crucial to our health and happiness, and the best way to get enough of the necessary vitamin is through spending time in the sun.Being deficient in Vitamin D can lead to an increase of developing cardiovascular disease, and cause asthma in children, and may even cause cancer. It is also known to cause things like bone pain and muscle weakness.Taking frequent walks outside, particularly in the middle of the day when the sun is at its brightest, can boost your levels of Vitamin D and get you feeling better. Mid-day walking is also crucial in the winter, when the days are shorter and it can be harder for individuals to get the amount of time in the sun that they need.Did you enjoy this list?eval(ez_write_tag([[336,280],'developgoodhabits_com-large-leaderboard-2','ezslot_7',150,'0']));We hope that you found some useful information!If you're looking to get a little healthier, don't let yourself believe it is too difficult. Adopting just 20 minutes a day of brisk walking can give you all the above benefits and get you feeling better, more confident, and happier.Walking is a great exercise when used alone, but when used in conjunction with more rigorous exercises and physical exertions, adding walking to your routine can give you the health you've always dreamed of.​Also, if you'd like additional tools ​to lose weight and maximize your exercise, then check out these 11 apps that will help you plan out healthy meals.
As you get started toward the recommended 30 minutes of moderately intense aerobic exercise five days per week, aim to exercise at a level that just lets you keep up a conversation during the activity. If you can get out three or four sentences in a row without gasping for air, it’s a sign that you’re maintaining an intensity that is truly aerobic, meaning aerobic metabolism is supplying the vast majority of your body’s energy, Jonesco says.
After World War II, non-organized, individualistic, health-oriented physical and recreational activities, such as jogging, began to become popular.[9] The Royal Canadian Air Force Exercise Plans, developed by Dr. Bill Orban and published in 1961, helped to launch modern fitness culture.[10][11] There was a running boom in the 1970s, inspired by the Olympics.[12]
5. It boosts immune function. Walking can help protect you during cold and flu season. A study of over 1,000 men and women found that those who walked at least 20 minutes a day, at least 5 days a week, had 43% fewer sick days than those who exercised once a week or less. And if they did get sick, it was for a shorter duration, and their symptoms were milder.
So where do you start? “The right place to start with walking intervals will depend on your current fitness level, but here's a treadmill interval template to test out and see what adjustments you need to make,” says Spraul. “Start by walking for 5 minutes at a comfortable speed with no incline to get warmed up. Once you're done there, increase the incline to 5 percent for 3 minutes (no need to increase the speed when you're first starting out). After those 3 minutes are up, return to 0 incline for 1 minute of rest, while keeping the same speed. Repeat this for 3-5 rounds, depending on how you're feeling. Then you can adjust as needed: To add difficulty, you can increase the ‘work’ time that you spend on the incline, decrease the time you spend ‘resting’ at 0 incline or increase the pace of each phase. Find what works for you, and slowly increase your difficulty over time to keep making progress!”
For weight loss, gradually work up to 45 minutes or longer at moderate to vigorous intensity five to six days a week, allowing for at least one day of rest a week. Vigorous intensity refers to an activity that will have your heart beating quite a bit more than moderate intensity workouts, and your breathing will be harder so saying more than a few words will be difficult.

Before starting a walking program, check with your doctor if you have a chronic medical condition or if you have had a recent injury. But don't assume that you aren't able to start exercise walking if you do have medical issues. Exercise walking can help control disease progression and relieve symptoms in people with cardiovascular disease and diabetes, and many people with arthritis or other musculoskeletal problems will experience symptom relief from a medically supervised exercise walking routine. Exercise is an important part of all weight-loss programs that will help with many chronic medical conditions.

Picture yourself working out. Are you lifting heavy weights? Stretching your muscles? Or maybe you're performing an activity that causes you to sweat and breathe hard that makes your blood pump through your veins as it carries oxygen to your muscles to keep you going. If you're performing this last activity, then you're engaging in aerobic exercise.
Utilize the Incline Feature: “Treadmills have a variety of uses and one of them that many people don't take advantage of is the incline feature. Walking or running on a treadmill is meant to simulate how you walk or run outside. The incline feature turns what could be compared to walking or running on a sidewalk, into a motion more similar to walking up a mountain,” says Crockett. “Adjusting the incline on a treadmill has several benefits. Your workout intensifies because you're placing more demand on the body to keep up with the machine. The higher you set the incline, the more energy your body is forced to use to help activate your glutes, quadriceps and calves, all of which have to put in overtime when the incline is increased. This increase of energy burns more calories and depending on your weight and cardiovascular endurance can also burn more fat.”
When comparing the results of the most recent National Runners’ Health Study with the National Walkers’ Health Study, researchers found that the energy used for moderate-intensity walking and vigorous-intensity running resulted in similar reductions in risk for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and heart disease over the study’s six year period.
It is increasingly obvious that one of the best ways to maintain good health is through physical activity. Regular participation in exercise has been shown to be helpful in the prevention of such killers as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Exercise also helps to control weight. (According to the latest research, one out of three Americans is obese.)
Their conclusion was the same as the plea issued by the Surgeon General: "Every U.S. adult should accumulate 30 minutes or more of moderate-intensity physical activity on most, or preferably all, days of the week." The researchers determined that intermittent as well as sustained activity can be beneficial. In other words, on days when you can't fit in a 30-minute walk, you can still garner fitness benefits by taking two or more shorter walks squeezed in throughout the day. This may seem somewhat confusing to those of you who are well acquainted with previous recommendations to exercise for a sustained period of 20 to 60 minutes. The Surgeon General's report is not meant to overshadow or replace these previously recommended exercise guidelines.
The greatest number of walkers walk just to walk, suggests Mark Fenton, editor-at-large for Walking magazine. “They like being outdoors,” he says. “They like getting some exercise and improving their health. At the other end of the scale are racewalkers, those hip-swinging, elbow-pumping, glory-seeking individuals who have as a goal a place on the Olympic team, or at least a medal at their local walking race.
Your heart rate increases in direct correlation with the intensity of the exercise. Heart rate levels can vary significantly from one person to another based on fitness level, genetics, environment, and exercise tolerance. If you wish to train based on heart rate, contact your health care provider to determine what the appropriate range is for you. Some medications, most often blood pressure drugs, control heart rate, making it impossible to determine exercise intensity in this way. Ask your physician to determine if you are on any of these medications.
HealthStatus has been operating since 1998 providing the best interactive health tools on the Internet, millions of visitors have used our health risk assessment, body fat and calories burned calculators. The HealthStatus editorial team has continued that commitment to excellence by providing our visitors with easy to understand high quality health content for many years.

For the record, yes, walking is a legit way to be physically active. “Like many cardiovascular exercises or activities, walking at an appropriate intensity can help strengthen your heart and make it more efficient, burn some extra calories, improve respiratory functions, and elevate your mood through the release of endorphins,” says Doug Sklar, a NASM-certified personal trainer and founder of New York City fitness training studio PhilanthroFIT.
It doesn't take all that much aerobic exercise to accrue lots of fitness and health benefits. There are two physical activity recommendations to choose from in the United States. One is the Surgeon General's "lifestyle" recommendation, where you can accumulate activity and incorporate it into your day (a nice way to save time for busy people), and then there's the formal "workout" recommendation from the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM).

High intensity interval training, which involves alternating periods of intense effort with recovery periods, can help you blast away calories. In 2014, researchers for the journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition, & Metabolism found that a 20-minute high intensity interval training workout boosted metabolism just as much as 50 minutes of cycling at a steady pace during the 24 hours following the exercise. In the study, participants in the interval training group cycled at a sprint pace for 60 seconds and then recovered for 60 seconds following each sprint. Add high intensity interval training to your routine to increase your metabolism in less time!


Interval training is more intense than simple aerobic training. It's a very effective way to increase your fitness level (remember stroke volume and mitochondria activity!), but it's tough, and so I recommend holding off until you build up to 20-30 minutes of aerobic exercise. The idea to intervals is to set up work to active-rest ratios (work:active-rest), and as you get more fit, decrease the active-rest interval and increase the work interval. The work interval of the ratio is a speed that is faster than what you usually do, and the active-rest interval is your usual speed. To do it, you start at your usual speed for five to eight minutes, then increase the speed to the work interval for one to three minutes, then slow down to your usual speed for a few minutes to catch your breath (this is the active-rest interval), and then you repeat the cycling for the duration of your workout.
Breathing increases during aerobic exercise to bring oxygen into your body. Once inside your body the oxygen is (1) processed by the lungs, (2) transferred to the bloodstream where it is carried by red blood cells to the heart, and then (3) pumped by the heart to the exercising muscles via the circulatory system, where it is used by the muscle to produce energy.
A major component of rehabilitation of children with MD is to prevent or slow functional losses. Aerobic activity is at the heart of improving and maintaining physical functioning. Despite the weakness, fatigue, loss of joint range of motion, and orthopedic changes, maintaining aerobic activity must be part of a comprehensive rehabilitation program. Studies have shown that aerobic capacity can be increased, improving functional abilities (Wright et al., 1996; Taivassalo et al., 1999). Continuous low to moderate resistive and aerobic exercises to promote fitness are suggested (Ansved, 2003). However, few if any studies have evaluated the long-term benefit or risks. Cardiac disease is one of the most common causes of death in patients with DMD. Potentially, cardiomyopathies and conduction abnormalities pose serious risks for patients with MD during aerobic and/or resistance training. The American Academy of Pediatrics (2005) recommended that, after the confirmation of DMD or Becker muscular dystrophy (BMD), a referral for cardiac evaluation with a specialist be made. The cardiac evaluation should include a complete history and physical, ECG, and transthoracic echocardiography (TTE). A complete cardiac evaluation should be completed every other year. In addition, starting at the age of 10 years or after the onset of cardiac signs/symptoms, cardiac evaluations should be completed annually. Specifically, symptoms of dilated cardiomyopathy, heart failure, cardiac arrhythmias, and respiratory abnormalities should be identified and treated.
There's some good news for people undergoing cancer treatment. In one study, aerobic exercise performed five days per week for 30-35 minutes for six weeks at 80% of maximal heart rate reduced fatigue in women being treated for cancer. In another study, 10 weeks of aerobic exercise at 60% of maximum heart rate for 30-40 minutes, four days per week, reduced depression and anxiety in female cancer patients. Aerobic exercise isn't a panacea when it comes to cancer, but evidence suggests that it certainly can help.
1. Walk as much as you can. The University of Warwick study compared people with at least one sign of metabolic syndrome—a group of risk factors (high blood pressure, fat around the waist, high blood sugar, and high triglycerides and cholesterol) for heart disease—to those with no risk factors. They found that those who got the least activity had the most risk factors, and those who walked the most—accumulating at least 15,000 steps per day—had healthy BMIs, smaller waists, lower cholesterol and blood pressure, and better blood sugar control.
“I like to say that running is a gift. Not everyone gets that gift. If you’re one of the ones who has been gifted with the ability to run and enjoy it, then treasure that gift. Nurture it and never ever take it for granted,” says Hamilton. “But walking is a wonderful activity and for those who don’t have the ability or desire to run, it can provide huge health benefits. The difference in calorie burn between briskly walking a mile and slowly running a mile is minimal—the more noticeable difference is how long it took you to cover the distance. Walking builds and maintains lower extremity and core strength, helps clear your mind, and, for runners, it’s a great way to have an active recovery day.”
The biggest variable in burning calories walking is how far you walk and how much you weigh. Going faster will allow you to go farther and therefore burn more calories in a set period of time. But you will burn approximately the same calories per mile over a wide range of walking speed. Running can burn more calories per mile as it includes lifting the body off the ground.
One Stanford University study found that walking increased creative output by an average of 60 percent. Researchers labelled this type of creativity “divergent thinking,” which they define as a thought process used to generate creative ideas by exploring many possible solutions. According to the study, “walking opens up the free flow of ideas, and it is a simple and robust solution to the goals of increasing creativity and increasing physical activity.”
“I want to start working out but I hate running.” I can’t tell you how many times I have heard this from friends, former clients and family. It seems that running is the first thing that comes to mind for a lot of people who are looking to lose weight. While our success stories prove that running is a great tool to get in shape, it’s not the only option.
Before starting a walking program, check with your doctor if you have a chronic medical condition or if you have had a recent injury. But don't assume that you aren't able to start exercise walking if you do have medical issues. Exercise walking can help control disease progression and relieve symptoms in people with cardiovascular disease and diabetes, and many people with arthritis or other musculoskeletal problems will experience symptom relief from a medically supervised exercise walking routine. Exercise is an important part of all weight-loss programs that will help with many chronic medical conditions.
×