The Fat-Burning and Cardiovascular Benefits of Walking

The Fat-Burning and Cardiovascular Benefits of Walking

When you think about fat-burning, it is most likely that your brain will default to an intensive workout. If not, perhaps a workout in which you sweat a lot, like running. So surprisingly, walking is a great fat-burning activity and also has many cardiovascular benefits. When we take part in low-intensity activities such as walking, our body takes energy from the fat reserves in our bodies.

In today’s sedentary environment, getting in enough steps can be difficult. Not everyone can afford a gym membership, but walking is easily accessible to and has multiple health benefits. Another great thing about walking is that it is low maintenance; you do not need to have any equipment except yourself and a good pair of shoes.

Walking is a great way to introduce yourself to a more active lifestyle. Start at a comfortable pace and slowly increase until you reach a brisk speed. You should feel an increase in your pulse rate, breathing more heavily, and breaking a sweat. Once you reach this pace, you should maintain it for a decent amount of time. For each person, this varies but a good starting goal can be 10-20 minutes at a brisk pace every day. Depending on how you feel, you can increase it to 30-40 minutes.

A 2014 study in the Journal of Exercise, Nutrition, and Biochemistry showed that a group of obese women who walked three times a week were able to lose body fat and inches off their waist (source).

Aside from the fat-burning benefits, walking is great for our cardiovascular health. How is this possible you might ask? Well, walking is a great holistic exercise. When you go for a walk, you are also benefiting your mental health. Furthermore, as you walk, you are able to lower your blood pressure and cholesterol. As you manage your weight from walking, you will also be contributing to better overall heart health.

Before starting on your walk, be sure to wear comfortable shoes and drink some water. Remember to apply sunscreen if you’re in the sun and be sure to walk in pedestrian-friendly areas like parks or on designated sidewalks.

Can’t leave the house? Walk around the house or march in your room. You can be very creative when getting in a brisk daily walk. There are also different videos available online that have guided walks and involving friends and family is a great way of encouraging this physical activity.

Take advantage of this easy change in your daily life to become healthier, because remember, your health first!