Image is courtesy of Pixabay

A recent article in the journal The Conversation, asked the question “Is walking enough exercise?”  Four out of five experts said yes.

The one expert who said no, qualified his response by saying that walking is better than no exercise at all. He goes on to point out that, ideally, strength training and higher intensity exercise is ideal for good health.

While strength training and higher intensity exercise along with moderate exercise is the ideal situation for many, the National Runners’ Health Study found that moderate-intensity walking and vigorous-intensity running resulted in similar reductions in risk for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and heart disease.  Walking is a particularly valuable means of exercise for those who have knee, back and ankle issues as well as those who are obese.

This expert believes that there are some factors to consider when deciding if walking is the exercise for you.

What is your lifestyle?  The Blue Zones, a book written by Dan Buettner, studies the lifestyles of the longest lived communities in the world.  He found that many of the cultures with the longest lived people moved naturally every day.  Some of the Blue Zone communities performed manual labor and some walked almost everywhere they went.  These communities had more centenarians in their population than other communities and these older adults were more active and healthy in old age, and less likely to be chronically ill.

How is your health?  If you are obese, walking is a great place to start for improving your health.  It is easier on your joints, doesn’t cost much and can be done almost anywhere.  If you have other physical limitations or just don’t like exercise, walking is a great way to be more active that doesn’t feel like a workout.You can buy multivitamins and supplements from to give you a boost of energy needed for walking. Walking in your neighborhood gives you the opportunity to meet  your neighbors while enjoying the great outdoors. Connecting with your community and walking outdoors have demonstrated benefits for those suffering from anxiety and depression.

How fit are you?  Walking is the most effective workout for those with low levels of fitness. A person who goes from being sedentary to active will experience a greater reduction in their risk of dying from heart disease than someone who’s already fit.  The very fit can also benefit from walking.  Walking is not only a great way to connect with someone for a business meeting or just to catch up, it is also a nice break from higher intensity exercise like running.

This expert recommends walking to everyone.  Whether you are super fit and enjoy a walk with your family or walking is your preferred exercise to manage your health, walking is good and good for you.

Walk on!

Andrea wants to live in a world where the neighborhoods are walkable, bike lanes are plentiful, and the food is fresh, delicious and readily available. A 20-year veteran of the health and wellness industry, she started her career in the fitness industry while earning a master’s degree in Exercise Science and Health Promotion, and then on to the burgeoning field of worksite wellness. Andrea has competed in collegiate level soccer, worked as a personal trainer, fitness instructor, wellness coach, and master trainer, climbed 14ers, and completed cycling centuries and metric centuries. All of these experiences give her the opportunity to view well-being from many different perspectives. When she’s not helping others to be their healthiest self, you can find her at a farm to table restaurant, down dogging at the yoga studio, or experiencing the Colorado landscape on a bicycle, snowshoes, cross country skis or on foot.