I remember those days when I was studying overseas. I walked a lot (often at brisk pace), every day, rain or shine … to my university, clubs, supermarkets, local market, parks, shops, restaurants, etc. At that time, I wasn’t keen to work out at all. Come to think of it, walking as a means of getting to places was my only form of “exercise”. It certainly kept me fit and my weight under control.
Benefits of walking
- strengthens bones
- weight control
- tones up muscles in the lower body
- improves posture
- improves blood circulation to the joints
- reduces inflammation
- improves cardiovascular health
- relieves stress
Walking is convenient
Walking is so ‘flexible’ in terms of:
timing – early in the morning, after sending your kid to school, after work, before or after dinner.
location – park, beach, hill, countryside, neighbourhood.
You can walk whenever and wherever you want.
You don’t need to sign up for a gym or use any equipment. The exception is when the weather is not permissible and you may have to walk on a treadmill.
How to get the most out of walking for weight loss
Walking as a real exercise is not about strolling in the park or window shopping.
If you want to lose weight, you have to walk briskly for 30-60 minutes to increase the fat burning potential.
For the added challenge, try walking up the stairs, a hill slope or at an incline to increase the intensity.
Who should walk
Walking is a low intensity cardio, suitable for people of all fitness levels. For those who are overweight, deconditioned or new to exercising, walking is ideal for weight loss or cardiovascular health. Even if you are in good shape, walking can keep you active on the days when you are not in the gym or working out.
Here’s how I incorporate walking into my fitness training…
On HIIT days, I’d do HIIT for 10-15 mins, followed by walking briskly at an incline for 10-15 mins on a treadmill.
On recovery days, I like to take a 45-min walk at a park, just to keep moving. Personally, I feel refreshed and relaxed after a walk.
Most people are sitting too long, whether at the computer, watching tv or doing nothing. By moving more, you can work out less at the gym. Walking keeps you active and is so simple that there’s no excuse not to do it!