Beginning any fitness journey – whether it’s for your overall health, to lose weight, or increase mobility – can be daunting. If you’re new to exercise, or have taken a break, we know it can be tough to know where to start.
At Revolution, one of the first things we do for clients who want to improve their fitness is get their overall movement up. One way we do this is by adding more steps to their existing routine.
Walking is a hidden fitness superpower that offers a range of benefits. In this blog, we outline the pros that come with upping your step count, and how – by incorporating walking into your everyday routine – you can begin to see some surprising positive results.
Walking is one of the best exercises for weight loss
One of the easiest ways to lose weight, walking can burn between 100 and 300 calories per continuous 30 minutes of walking at a moderate pace. This number tends to increase with that person’s weight, making it an excellent inclusion in your first steps for weight loss.
While there’s no standard benchmark for how many steps to walk a day to lose weight, it’s generally the more steps the better. With a balanced diet, walking 5,000 steps every day can help you on your way to losing half a pound a week, whereas walking 10,000 steps daily can help you lose a full pound per week.
It’s also one of the best exercises to cut belly fat
While spot reduction (targeted weight loss in specific parts of your body) is largely agreed to be unrealistic, losing weight overall will allow you to lose some mass around your middle. And one of the most effective ways to achieve this is to regularly take part in aerobic exercise, such as walking.
A recent 12-week study of 20 women with obesity found those who walked for 50-70 minutes three times per week reduced their waist circumference and overall body fat percentage.
It’s excellent for boosting your long term health
Did you know that walking briskly can help make your heart healthier? You don’t necessarily have to walk for hours, either. As little as 10-minutes’ brisk walking a day has many health benefits, and can count towards your recommended 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity each week.
Moderate intensity exercise means any exercise that both gets your heart rate up and gets you breathing faster. This kind of exercise can reduce the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and dementia, improve sleep, and support better cognitive function and bone health.
Walking helps preserve lean muscle
Often when people cut calories to lose weight, they also lose some muscle alongside any body fat they’ve shed. Since muscle is more metabolically active than fat (meaning it helps you burn more calories – even when you’re resting), this can be counterproductive to your long term goals.
Moderate exercise, including walking, can help preserve your lean muscle – making your results easier to maintain in the long term.
It’s one of the most accessible forms of exercise
Something that makes walking so easy for us to recommend is that it’s so accessible – it’s an exercise that all able-bodied people can do. It’s free, and you can do it anywhere.
Beginners can start exercising without feeling overwhelmed, and there’s no need to purchase equipment. As a low-impact exercise, it’s also kinder to your joints, making it more suitable than other forms of physical activity for people who haven’t done a lot of exercise before.
Fitting it into your routine also couldn’t be easier, and you can fit a brisk 10-minute walk in at any time. On your way to work, during your lunch break, after a meal, or taking your dog for additional walks are all very common options.
Upping your steps is a smart addition to your existing routine
Whether you’re attending regular gym training or personal training sessions, if you’re finding your fitness routine isn’t giving you the results you’re after, chances are that you’re not moving as much as you need to be to achieve your goals. Not only can walking help add to your total activity for the week, but by increasing the intensity of your walks over time it can also prevent your results from plateauing further down the line.
As an easy, low-intensity exercise, walking is also a great option on rest days when the DOMS is too much for anything more strenuous.
An essential part of your weight loss or fitness journey
Walking is vital for overall fitness, and can aid with weight loss, retaining lean muscle, and improving overall health. By committing to as little as one 10-minute brisk walk per day, you can kick-start your fitness journey and begin building a healthy routine that leads to a more active, fitter you.
Ready to incorporate walking into your fitness journey? We can tailor a plan to your goals, in our 12-week transformations and personal training programme.
To get started, book a free taster session with Revolution Personal Training Studios today.