Obviously, walking is far from being a strenuous form of exercise. But don’t estimate its power! In truth, walking is an effective way of getting in shape and burning fat.
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In a nutshell:
How walking helps the body
By boosting your energy
Walking in the morning is a perfect way of boosting your energy levels.
This is especially true if you walk outdoors.
According to studies, adults who take a 20-minute walk outdoors experience more energy and vitality than those who walk for 20 minutes outdoors.
In another study, it was shown that 10 minutes of stair walking provides a greater energy boost than a cup of coffee for 18 women who felt sleep-deprived.
So, the next time you want a quick energy boost or you’re feeling more groggy than normal, taking a walk can help.
By helping prevent or manage health conditions
As we’ve mentioned, walking offers several health benefits, such as boosting your immunity.
Also, over time, it can prevent and manage various health conditions.
Based on studies, walking for 30 minutes per day can lower the risk of heart disease by 19%.
For those with diabetes, walking can also help stabilize your blood sugar levels.
More importantly, it can help increase your lifespan and reduce the risk for certain cancers and cardiovascular disease.
How walking burns fat
By reducing belly fat
Having a lot of belly fat has been shown to increase the risk of diseases like type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
For men, a waist circumference higher than 40 inches is considered abdominal obesity, meaning it’s tagged as a health risk.
Likewise, the same is true for women whose waist circumference is higher than 35 inches.
Walking and other aerobic exercises are some of the most effective ways to minimize visceral fat.
In a small study, obese women tried walking for 50-70 minutes three times a week for 3 months.
The result was that on average, they were able to reduce their waist circumference and their body fat.
Furthermore, in another study, it was revealed that walking for 1 hour five times a week for 3 months, in conjunction with a calorie-controlled diet led to smaller waistlines and lesser body fat, compared to those who only followed the diet.
By preserving lean muscle
When people reduce their calorie intake and lose weight, it usually leads to a reduction in muscle, aside from body fat.
This can be counterproductive since muscle is more metabolically active than fat.
In other words, the more muscles you have, the more calories are burned each day.
Luckily, exercise such as walking can preserve lean muscle when you lose weight, thus, countering this effect.
By preserving lean muscles, it reduces the decline in metabolic rate that often comes with weight loss, making it easier to maintain your weight loss results.
What’s more, regular exercise helps reduce age-related muscle loss.
So, as early as you can, make it a habit to walk or do any exercise regularly to help retain more of your muscle strength and function in later years.
By burning many calories
The body needs energy, which is in the form of calories, to support all complex chemical reactions that let you move, breathe, think, and function.
The thing is daily calorie needs vary from each person and are influenced by factors like weight, height, age, sex, genes, and activity level.
It’s long been established that you need to burn more calories than you consume to achieve weight loss.
People who are more physically active burn more calories than those who have sedentary lifestyles.
Sadly, modern living and work environments are usually spent sitting, especially for office jobs.
Not only can a sedentary lifestyle contribute to weight gain, but it can also put you at a greater health risk.
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