Walking – know the facts!
Walking is a weight bearing exercise that has many of the same health benefits as running and stair climbing. Walking is also a great way to lose weight and reduce the risk of chronic disease.
The sun is shining, the weather is warmer, the trees and flowers are blooming – what a wonderful time to go outside and get moving! According to the American Heart Association, research shows that just 30 minutes of physical activity, five days a week, can help:
- Reduce the risk of coronary disease
- Improve blood pressure and blood sugar levels
- Maintain body weight and lower the risk of obesity
- Enhance mental wellbeing
- Reduce the risk of osteoporosis
- Reduce the risk of breast and colon cancer
- Reduce the risk of non-insulin dependent (Type 2) diabetes
Michigan State University Extension recommends that you consider incorporating walking into your exercise routine. Walking is a weight bearing exercise, where the bones and muscles work against gravity. Walking is easier than running and stair climbing and less expensive than purchasing exercise machines or joining a health club.
Interested in losing some extra weight? Take a look at the following “Walking Facts” provided by the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center:
- There are approximately 2,000 steps in a mile (this number can vary depending on a person’s length of stride).
- It’s recommended that a person walk 10,000 steps per day for optimum health.
- 11,000 steps should be reached each day to maintain weight – 12,000 to 15,000 to lose weight.
- The number of calories burned, walking one mile, depends on the weight of the person and the pace at which they walk. For a moderate walking pace of a 30 minute mile:
150 pound person = approximately 85 calories
200 pound person = approximately 114 calories
250 pound person = approximately 142 calories
300 pound person = approximately 170 calories
- In order to lose a half-pound per week by walking, a person will need to expend an extra 1,750 calories – equivalent to 20,000-40,000 steps a week. Again, this figure can vary depending on a person’s weight.
The following websites provide additional information on the health benefits of walking: