Walking is often overlooked as a cardio activity because it is something we do every day. So much emphasis is placed on hard workouts like CrossFit and running, that most women forget that walking is one of the best forms of cardio out there.
While it cannot be denied that the results that you get from walking will come much more slowly than what you’d get with high-intensity training, the fact of the matter is that you will get results. If your diet is clean and you’re at a caloric deficit, walking can be a very effective form of cardio.
The points below will state why women who have led sedentary lives or prefer less strenuous workouts should adopt walking as a form of cardio training.
1. Easier & low impact
Walking is easier to do and you’ll not be panting and gasping for air like you would with running or other strenuous forms of exercise. If you’ve not exercised in a long time, walking will be a great way to start getting active. If you’re overweight, it will also be easier on your joints.
You’ll be less likely to develop joint pain or delayed onset muscle soreness. Ideally, your walks should be brisk and purposeful. This will get your heart pumping and boost your metabolic rate.
2. Strengthens your joints and bones
Walking prevents or delays the onset of osteoporosis and osteoarthritis by strengthening the bones. Women with these problems have noticed an improvement in their condition when they started walking three to five times a week.
3. Make exercise a habit
One reason so many women give up on their weight loss and fitness journey is that they start skipping workouts. Once they do that, they feel guilty that they’ve let themselves down and they end up quitting. The truth of the matter is that they often dread the hard workouts.
While high-intensity interval training and weight training are very useful for getting fit and healthy, they are strenuous and require determination. Women who do these forms of exercise have usually inculcated the habit of regular exercise. That’s how they stick to the program. Habit is what keeps you going when motivation starts to wane.
However, women who do not have that habit will throw in the towel because it just seems too torturous to train so hard. Walking, however, is an easy form of exercise. 30 minutes of walking is nowhere near as intimidating as a 30-minute high-intensity interval training session.
So, women who fear tough workouts can still adopt walking and benefit from exercise. Even moderate exercise is better than no exercise. Once you develop the habit of walking regularly, you may try short runs and so on. But when you’re starting off, walking is much easier to adopt.
4. Helps relieve stress
Stress causes a plethora of health problems. Walking helps to relieve stress. It gets better if you walk somewhere scenic where you can appreciate your surroundings. It’s a wonderful and natural form of stress relief.
5. Promotes better sleep
It’s also a great way to overcome sleep disorders. Studies have shown that people who walked 3 to 4 times a week for 4 months were able to sleep faster and for longer periods. The goal is to walk early in the day so that your body is calm by bedtime.
6. Burns calories and fat
Walking burns calories too. It may not burn as many calories as other types of training but it does burn calories and that’s what matters. As mentioned earlier, some exercise is better than none.
If you’re at a caloric deficit daily, you’ll still lose weight. It may take longer but you’ll get there. The price to pay for speed is exertion and tough workouts. If you’re willing to be patient, walking will help you shed all the excess pounds and get you to your ideal weight in time.
These 6 benefits should convince you that walking is a wonderful form of exercise. Even for women who engage in high-intensity activities, replacing a workout with a walk every now and then will give your nervous system a break from the continuous stress placed upon it by hard training.
If you’re inactive, do start walking today. Your body will thank you for it in future.