If you are like me, you despise running and will do everything in your power to not have the need to do that cardio. Unlike running, I love a good afternoon walk, but, is it really good for you? After some research, I think you’d be surprised how healthy walking can be for you, and even for your walking buddy relationship.
Is Walking Healthy?
Many studies show that walking is good for your health, but sometimes it helps to get out of the “around the block” rut and into something more challenging and fun.
Harvard Health listed some studies that concluded that “cardiovascular events by 31% cut the risk of dying by 32%“, and that this cut in risk applied “even at distances of just 5½ miles per week and at a pace as casual as about 2 miles per hour.” Read More
Is Walking Good For You?
Walk for a Cause
Long-distance walking events help get you in shape–and if you walk for a good cause, your stroll can raise funds for groups that need it. An added bonus: Walking as part of a team can increase enjoyment, keep you focused, and build great friendships.
What is a walking team? In the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer, teams include two people or dozens-women and men, neighbors, colleagues, family, spouses, or new acquaintances, from the same town or across the country who share a commitment to taking personal steps (literally) in the fight against breast cancer.
One team that takes humor in stride is the “Back of the Pack Walkers.” It consists of nearly 10 women who come together each year for the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer in Washington, D.C. They walk in memory of a friend, Robyn Cain, who lost her battle with breast cancer in 2004. Team Captain Candi Hoffman says that “after spending so much time together, training and at the Walk, I consider the girls on my team to be some of my closest friends.”
“Team Maureen” is a fixture at the Avon Walk Chicago, with team members participating as walkers, volunteers, and cheerleaders, all in bright green shirts. According to Donna Lahey, “Team Maureen” Walker Captain, the 2006 team has 64 members from age 1 to 81. The team is named for Maureen Buescher, who died of breast cancer in 2002. It includes family and friends who walk for their own health and the health of all women.
Mike McElduff has put a unique spin on the team concept by leading “Team Peggy’s Spirit,” named for his mother, at all eight Avon Walk events across the country from April to October. “Peggy’s Spirit” includes McElduff’s siblings, friends, and solo walkers who are seeking camaraderie as they tackle the long walk.
Read more on where you can find a walking event near you
Walking Tames Your Sweet-tooth?
Okay, now if you are really like me, you have a sweet tooth. But, can walking really cut down your craving for sweets?
Well, according to Harvard Health, again, “A pair of studies from the University of Exeter found that a 15-minute walk can curb cravings for chocolate and even reduce the amount of chocolate you eat in stressful situations.” With this information, why not go for a walk anytime you are craving sweets!? Read More
Walking Helps Your Immune System
Not only does walking help with your risk of dying, helps raise money for a cause, and curbs your sweets craving, but it also boosts your immune system.
Harvard Health reports that “A study of over 1,000 men and women found that those who walked at least 20 minutes a day, at least 5 days a week, had 43% fewer sick days than those who exercised once a week or less.” Read More
Does Walking Help You Lose Weight?
So, we learned that walking is indeed healthy for you, but can it help you lose weight?
In the Journal of Obesity study, we learn more about this subject. “120 college women aged 18–22 years” walked a randomized number of steps, of either 10,000, 12,500, and 15,000 a day. This went on for 24 weeks, 6 days a week. The research found that it did not affect their weight on the scale, and ultimately did not impact their caloric intake.
Don’t let this research discourage you from walking. We know walking indirectly benefits many functions of the body. From what we have learned, we can conclude that it is very well possible that walking can support your other exercises to increase the chances of weight loss.
Walking is healthy for us all. We can use a walking routine to help boost our immune system, stunt that sweets craving, and even help raise funds for a good cause. We all should find more time to walk and enjoy the benefits that come along with it.