I don’t think of walking as an exercise in itself, instead I think it’s a supplement to whatever lifestyle you’re living, but it definitely beats any diet pill or 2 minute workout. I think walking is massively beneficial even to professional bodybuilders.
#1 Benefit, Walking is an easy habit to get into:
Walking is such an easy habit to get into, to get the most benefit you have to do it before work in the morning for about 45-60 minutes. After a couple of days commitment you already build a habit that could last a few weeks up to years without needing too much motivation
Walking can be used as the only source of exercise for many people, if you don’t do any exercise and can’t comprehend going to a gym or doing a hard workout you have to try walking as far as you can bare each morning.
Why you need to start walking in the morning:
Although you might have to wake up earlier to get your walk in, walking makes it much easier to get to sleep at night, this is because by getting sunlight and exercise as soon as you wake up helps co-ordinate your body clock, your stress is reduced and you’ve expelled the spare energy your body saves for some kind of exercise. The benefits are obvious, getting to sleep faster and getting deeper sleep allows your body to build more muscle and burn more fat, as well as having more energy the next day!
Does walking burn calories? It tends to burn between 1/4 and 1/2 the calories burnt from vigorous weight training for the same amount of time, but you can walk everyday unlike with weight training and hard cardio, and with all the benefits why wouldn’t you add it to your daily routine?
I find doing any exercise massively reduces food cravings, especially junk food cravings. Although weight loss and muscle building is 80% diet, the act of walking in the morning and exercising in the afternoon makes dieting 100 times easier, so it ends up at least 50% diet and 50% exercise.
Walking will build a bit of muscle and tone your body a little bit in the beggining but it wont give you anything spectacular. But if you have a lot of muscle mass, walking wont burn muscle, be sure if you’re intermittent fasting to have a tiny bit of food (I have squeezed lemon juice or a small banana). Compare this to high intensity cardio where might burn muscle or not build as much muscle in the morning.
Walking strengthens your heart and immune system, partly due to the reduced cortisol means you’re much less likely to get sick or get heart disease in old age.
Vitamin D and Happiness (Wellbeing)
Walking, even in the U.K in winter still increases your vitamin D levels. recent studies are suggesting vitamin D is needed to synthesise tryptophan (found lots in bananas) into serotonin (a feel good chemical). So walking outside rather than in the gym is like a happy supplement 😉 which also helps you build muscle!
These are all the main reasons I like to walk as often as possible, it’s well worth getting up before work to do, although you might have to do it in your lunch hour if you’re already getting into work to early and getting home too late. There are too many more health benefits to walking, I hope you see why everyone from people doing no exercise to advanced lifters should walk.