You often hear about how important it is to get exercise in daily, whether that be an at-home workout or lifting weights. Perhaps, even more frequently as of late, you hear about the importance of stepping away from your work from home station to stretch your legs and get moving.
Now more than ever, in a time where we are mostly confined to our homes, moving your muscles and increasing your heartrate is essential – but can also be difficult.
Most are not yet comfortable returning to the gym, and sone lack motivation to do a full-on workout. Believe it or not, something as simple as walking – yes, walking – can help give you that needed daily exercise. The best part? It’s free, not time consuming, and can be done anywhere.
The power of walking
Exercise can greatly reduce chronic disease and improve health. According to Massive Science, maintaining consistent activity can reduce blood pressure and improve insulin insensitivity. But are we getting enough exercise to see noticeable health differences?
Massive Science cites that only roughly 53% of U.S. adults get the recommended 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week.
Does this sound like you? The good news is that it doesn’t matter how you get to those minutes, meaning exercise can be done in smaller quantities instead of all at once. This is where walking comes into play.
How many steps is enough?
Studies show that the number of steps per day was correlated to lower mortality rates. So what’s the magic number? According to Healthline, the target number of steps for a healthy adult is 10,000.
The science behind that magic number is simple: 10,000 steps roughly equates to five miles, which is a range that is said to help lower the risk of certain health conditions, such as high blood pressure and heart disease.
However, five miles a day is a lot, especially for those who sit at a desk all day. Instead of aiming to hit a magic number, aiming to walk for a certain amount of minutes daily would be equally as effective and more manageable than putting pressure on yourself to get in all those steps.
How many minutes you should walk each day
So the big question is, about how many minutes should you walk each day? Harvard Health states that you should aim for between 30-45 minutes. “Do it all at once or in chunks as short as five to 10 minutes.
Aim for a brisk pace of three to four miles an hour, but remember that you’ll get plenty of benefit from strolling at a slower pace as long as you stick with it,” the report reads.
Set realistic goals
It’s not always easy to jump right in to finding the time to get in a good walk every day. Massive Science says it’s important to start small, set realistic goals, and revert back to the idea that exercise doesn’t need to happen all at once. “Start where you are, and focus on moving more.
Setting small goals of 15 minutes each day – including going on several short walks a day – is still effective for improving your health,” said the article.
In short, it’s important to get moving every single day. It’s imperative for your muscle health, maintaining a good weight, and can even improve your mental health. Walking can be an extremely effective form of exercise.
Humana says it best: “Whether it helps you lose weight, lower your blood pressure, or just gets you moving, it’s not a bad goal to have every day.”