Walking is one of the easiest and most effective ways to improve your overall health and wellbeing. Not only is it a low-impact activity that can be done almost anywhere, but it also provides a range of health benefits, from boosting cardiovascular health to reducing stress levels. Plus, walking is an excellent way to burn calories and maintain a healthy weight.
According to the American Heart Association, sedentary careers have increased 83% since 1950, and a typical office worker may sit for as much as 15 hours a day. And then they sit in their car on the way home only to … sit more! Between television and digital devices, the average American sits for at least 10 hours a day, according to getamericastanding.com. That is a lot of not moving, which is not good for our physical and mental health. Sitting for even four hours a day greatly increases your risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity, and an analysis of 13 studies concluded that those who sat for more than 8 hours a day “had a risk of dying similar to the risks of dying posed by smoking.” And that doesn’t even factor in how studies have found a link between inactivity and depression and anxiety. Obviously, we need to get off our butts more.
Health benefits of walking
- Improved cardiovascular health: Walking can help improve your heart health by increasing blood circulation, reducing blood pressure, and lowering your risk of heart disease.
- Weight management: Walking is an effective way to burn calories and manage your weight. By walking regularly, you can increase your metabolism and reduce your risk of obesity and related health problems.
- Reduced stress levels: Walking can be a great way to reduce stress levels and boost your mood. The rhythmic motion of walking can help calm your mind and reduce anxiety.
- Stronger muscles and bones: Walking can help strengthen your leg muscles and bones, reducing your risk of injury and improving your overall mobility.
- Improved balance and coordination: Walking can also improve your balance and coordination, reducing your risk of falls and other injuries.
Calories burned while walking
The number of calories you burn while walking depends on a variety of factors, including your weight, speed, and terrain. As a general rule, the more you weigh and the faster you walk, the more calories you will burn. Here are some estimated calorie burn rates for walking:
- Walking at a leisurely pace (2 mph): 160 calories per hour (for a person weighing 150 pounds)
- Walking at a moderate pace (3 mph): 240 calories per hour (for a person weighing 150 pounds)
- Walking at a brisk pace (4 mph): 320 calories per hour (for a person weighing 150 pounds)
- Walking uphill: You can burn up to 500 calories per hour (for a person weighing 150 pounds)
It’s important to note that these estimates are just that – estimates. The actual number of calories you burn will depend on a range of factors, including your age, sex, and fitness level.