Some of you may have gotten into the good habit of taking a daily stroll around your neighborhood since all the gyms and workout facilities have been closed. Maybe your reasoning was more to get out of the house than to really 'exercise,' but regardless of your intentions behind it, it's actually super good for your health.
Here at SRQ Health & Fitness Studio, we value the fact that our clients have turned to walking as an alternative form of exercise when coming into the studio wasn't an option - in fact, we encourage all of our members to continue to incorporate this incredibly healthy habit along with your workout regime here at our personal training boutique studio.
The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends moderate to intense exercise for a minimum of 150 minutes every week. That recommendation can be achieved with a brisk walk at a pace of 3-4 mph for 30 minutes, 5 days each week. Pairing a regular walking routine with one of our personal trainer's custom-made workouts can mean maximum fitness results.
Still need more reasons to keep up with walking on a regular, consistent basis? Here's 5 of the top reasons you should keep walking as part of your exercise routine:
1. Walking Can Lead to Healthy Weight Loss
There's been a lot of jokes and memes from people about the "Quarantine 15," and while gaining weight should be the least of your concerns right now, old habits are tough to break. So rest easy knowing that a daily walk could help to counterbalance any comfort food you choose to indulge in.
If you're looking to actually drop some pounds, the ACSM recommends 5 hours of moderate to intense activity - which simply means a brisk hour-long walk, 5 days a week. If you are new to exercise or walking just don't forget to build up slowly with how much you are able to do.
2. Walking Will Help You Sleep Better
At a time of heightened anxiety, prioritizing your sleep is key. Thankfully, walking can help you do that better. It is said that scientists don't fully know why, but some theories suggest walking in the morning can assist with your own body's circadian rhythm. While, others suggest that the stress reduction that comes with walking is what helps with sleeping more soundly.
While it may not affect sleep length, recent research published did find that postmenopausal women who participate in mild to moderate physical activity had a fuller night's rest than those who primarily remained sedentary.
3. Walking is Proven to Lower Anxiety
It can be easy to get in your head and worry about all the unknowns, yet walking outdoors has been known to provide a release from stress for those struggling. Walking is proven to have a positive impact on mental and emotional states. As with all forms of exercise, walking releases endorphins and dopamine in the brain, which produces feelings of euphoria.
Some tactics include switching your speed, or walking faster to increase your pulse, depending on the length of time a person walks will give you more of a boost. Walking changes brain chemistry to assist in reducing tension and stress by increasing the availability of anti-anxiety chemicals to the brain, including serotonin.
4. It Can Improve Your Digestion
One of the best times to go for a walk is right after you eat a heavy meal, like during the evenings after dinner. Walking after consuming foods can enhance digestion and help food move through the gut. There is also evidence that shows walking after ingestion can decrease blood glucose, which can be helpful for diabetic patients.
5. Taking Walks Can Make You More Creative
In times like these, it's easy to get stuck in a funk. But going for a walk might help boost your creative brain power. Research published following administering creative-thinking tests to people who were either walking or seated showed that those who walked, had more creative thoughts, compared to sedentary folk.
Walking improves blood flow, which releases chemicals in your brain to boost your disposition - this allows you to get outside of your normal environment and think outside the box through the practice of movement. This is especially helpful while working from home - if you end up struggling with a mental block, going for a stroll might help give some insight.
For more on how to incorporate a walking routine with a personal trainer one-on-one workout, reach out to SRQ Health & Fitness Studio for a free consultation.