Walking is a low impact exercise that almost everyone can do. If you haven't exercised in a while or are looking for a comfortable, healthy activity you can do every day; walking is the perfect way to get started.
There are several myths about walking that tend to stop people from having this activity as part of their exercise routines. And because of these myths, we are deprived of the many benefits we can get from walking. We felt it was time to debunk some of these myths to encourage you to take up walking.
Myth 1: Walking doesn't help you lose weight.
Walking burns calories, which helps in losing weight. Weight and speed are the most significant factors in how many calories we burn while walking. Varying walking speed during a workout can help burn up to 20 percent more calories than maintaining a set pace.
Even adding 30minutes of brisk walking per day can help you burn as much as 150 to 200 more calories.
Myth 2: 10,000 steps is what you need daily to see any benefit.
Reaching 10,000 steps a day has become the default target for many fitness trackers. However, this target can be quite daunting, and when it is not achieved regularly, people tend to become disheartened and lose interest.
The good news is there are many health benefits to walking, and it is not necessary to have to walk the full 10,000 steps to reap these benefits. Research revealed breaking up 30 minutes of brisk walking into 10-to-15-minute instalments can lower high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes, which are contributory factors for heart disease and stroke.
If 10,000 steps are too much for you, choose a target that is challenging but realistic. Find ways to get any extra steps in during your day, such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator. After all, every step counts.
Myth 3: You need to do intervals to see results.
Intervals may provide more benefits and help burn calories faster. But walking at an average speed effectively burns calories too, especially if paired with a healthy diet. Interval training is far more intense and increases the chances of injury and burnout
If intense training is not for you, then stick to standard or brisk walking. Even leisure walking can relieve stress, improve mood, and help in keeping active.
Myth 4: Walking isn't as effective as jogging.
It is believed that walking is not as good as jogging, but this is not true. It just takes longer for walking to have the same effect. Walking is a low impact exercise compared to jogging and is a great way to help transition to running.
Myth 5: Walking leads to big leg muscles.
Some people, especially women, avoid regular walking in fear of ending up with bulging leg muscles. It's true that walking helps build lean muscle and might produce definition in calf muscles, but more strenuous exercise is needed to bulk up. Heavy resistance and strength exercises are required to develop large muscles while walking is more of a low impact exercise and won't build muscle.
Myth 6: Walking is bad for your knees.
People with sensitive knee joints experience challenges in walking, so they are often advised to rest and take care to alleviate their joints' impact. While rest is essential to healing injuries, walking is recommended to improve flexibility and strength, helping relieve joint pain. It is important to note that you should always follow the advice given to you by your doctor.
Walking is one of the easiest and free exercises. It's also one of the most adaptable forms of exercise that anyone can do. The benefits don't stop on physical wellness, for it can also do wonders for your mental wellbeing.