In recognition of National Walking Month, ExerciseWithStyle.com, and their expert fitness writer Jesse Hyson, MClinExPhys, AEP, PT, has released a study revealing the minimum amount of exercise needed for a healthy lifestyle, specifically focusing on walking.
In recognition of National Walking Month, we've taken a deep dive into the why behind the often overlooked form of exercise- walking.
An average, experts believe that just 150 minutes (roughly 20 minutes per day) of moderate-intensity walking per week can lead to significant health benefits. These include improved cardiovascular health and enhanced mood.
Some people struggle to enjoy walking, and if you fall into that category, why not try walking with music, exploring new routes or introducing interval walking? These simple yet effective strategies can motivate you to embrace walking as a part of your daily routine.
The minimum exercise you should regularly be doing:
Walking: Walking is a low-impact, accessible form of exercise that can significantly benefit health. Aim for 150 minutes per week, which can be broken down into 30 minutes a day for five days. Walking can be done anywhere - from your local streets to countryside paths- and doesn't require any special equipment or a gym membership!
Strength Training: Strength training helps build muscle mass, which is crucial for metabolism and physical strength. It doesn't necessarily require heavy weights; bodyweight exercises like squats or push-ups, resistance bands, or light dumbbells can all be effective ways to increase your strength.
Stretching and Flexibility: Regular stretching helps maintain flexibility, which can reduce the risk of injuries and improve overall movement quality. Consider activities like yoga or pilates, or simple daily stretches that target all major muscle groups.
Expert Tips to Make Exercise More Fun & Engaging:
Explore Different Scenery: Changing your walking route keeps things interesting and can make your walks more enjoyable. Try exploring different parks, areas, or footpaths in your county.
Walking Groups: Walking with others can make the activity more fun and provide a source of social support. Look for local walking groups in your community, or start your own with friends or family if possible.
Music and Audiobooks: Listening to music, audiobooks, or podcasts can make your walks more enjoyable and provide a mental distraction if you find the activity boring.
Interval Walking: Interval walking involves changing your walking speed at regular intervals. For example, you might walk at a moderate pace for five minutes, then speed up to a brisk pace for one minute, and repeat. This can make your walks more challenging and interesting.
Fitness Tracker: Using a fitness tracker can help you stay motivated by letting you monitor your progress. Set daily or weekly goals for steps or distance, and celebrate when you achieve them.
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