You might already be walking regularly, even daily, but are you actually moving enough? Movement expert Katy Bowman points out that even if you exercise for an hour per day, that’s still only just over 4% of your day spent moving — not great if the rest of your time is spent sedentary (shifting from an office chair to the couch post-workout). Bowman’s prescription? Move more.
And that’s where walking comes in. Adding walking to your day — in traditional and unexpected ways — can help improve your cardio and running, too. Below, you’ll find seven reasons why you need to walk more.
1. LOWER YOUR BODY FAT
The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology Journal recently published a study that surveyed commuters who walked or biked versus drove and found — no surprise here — that adults who commute via human power (walking or riding) have a lower body-fat percentage and body mass index. If you’ve struggled with lowering that number on the scale with your daily run, adding some walking may actually help shift the numbers in the right direction. A little extra walking means you’ll burn calories without much need for repair — and you don’t need a recovery shake after a mile-long walk!
2. LOWER YOUR RISK OF HEART DISEASE
Even active people can be at risk for heart disease, but regular walking can help ease that. Regular walks will keep you much healthier than sitting on the couch whether you’re recovering from an injury, trying to lose weight to get to a point where you can run or just taking an extended recovery period after a hard season of running. Researchers at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University recently studied a large group of older Americans. Their research showed that as these participants aged, those with a higher rate of regular moderate physical activity like walking (especially brisk-paced walking) had a lower risk of cardiovascular disease.