11 reasons why walking does count as exercise

benefits of walking

Walking is not only a more accessible form of exercise than running, it is also an Olympic sport. Walking can be strenuous exercise or a walk in the park, depending on your mood and fitness level. Furthermore, it does not require us to learn new skills.

Humans have evolved to walk constantly every day. It is an integral part of our nature and was crucial to our survival. If you're looking for an alternative to crowded and expensive fitness studios, there's nothing better than walking.


Walking can offer numerous health benefits to people of all ages and fitness levels. It can also help prevent certain diseases and even prolong life. As if that were not enough, it is free and easy to adapt to the daily routine.

Burn calories

Walking can help burn calories, which in turn can help us maintain or lose weight. Actual calorie burn will depend on several factors, including walking speed, distance traveled, terrain (we'll burn more calories walking uphill), and weight.

We can determine the actual calorie burn through a calorie calculator. However, it can be an easier physical activity to maintain over time.

Strengthens the heart

Walking for at least thirty minutes a day, five days a week can reduce the risk of coronary heart disease by approximately 19 percent. And the risk can be further reduced when we increase the duration or the distance we walk per day.

Walking fast favors the pumping of the heart and can strengthen it just like any other sport. Even if we can't go at a fast pace, walking calmly helps keep the heart muscle active.

Lowers blood sugar level

Taking a short walk after eating can help lower blood sugar. One small study found that walking 15 minutes three times a day (after breakfast, lunch, and dinner) improved blood sugar levels more than walking 45 minutes at other times of the day.

However, more research is needed to confirm these findings. We may think that taking a walk after meals is a regular part of the routine. It can also help us exercise throughout the day.

You don't need supplies

Running is a higher-impact activity that requires special shoes (not to mention a sports bra for many people), sportswear, etc. Walking requires a supportive pair of shoes, but not much else.

If we prefer, we can turn the commute home into exercise, or take a short walk at lunch or coffee break. If not, we can just go for a walk without any sports accessories in tow.

Relieves joint pain

Walking can help protect your joints, including your knees and hips. That's because it helps lubricate and strengthen the muscles that support the joints.

Walking can also provide benefits for people living with arthritis, such as pain reduction. And walking 8 to 10 miles a week can also help prevent arthritis.

walking tips

Increases immune function

Walking can reduce the risk of developing a cold or flu. One study followed adults during the flu season. Those who walked at a moderate pace for 30 to 45 minutes a day had 43 percent fewer sick days and fewer upper respiratory tract infections overall.

The symptoms also decreased if they got sick. That was compared to adults in the study who were sedentary. We will try to take a daily walk to experience these benefits. If we live in a cold or rainy area, we can try walking on a treadmill or around an indoor mall.

Increase energy

Going for a walk when we're tired can be a more effective energy boost than having a cup of coffee. Walking increases the flow of oxygen through the body. We can also increase cortisol, epinephrine and norepinephrine levels. Those are the hormones that help raise energy levels.

Improves mood

Walking can help mental health. Some studies show that it can help reduce anxiety, depression, and negative mood. It can also boost self-esteem and reduce symptoms of social isolation.

To experience these benefits, we'll try to do 30 minutes of brisk walking or other moderate-intensity exercise three days a week. We can also divide it into three 10-minute walks.

lengthen life

Walking at a faster pace could prolong life. The researchers found that walking at an average pace compared to a slow pace resulted in a 20 percent lower risk of death overall.

But walking at a brisk or fast pace (at least 6 kilometers per hour) reduced the risk by 24 percent. The study looked at the association of walking at a faster pace with factors such as general causes of death, cardiovascular disease, and death from cancer.

tones the legs

Walking can strengthen the leg muscles. To develop more strength, we will walk in a hilly area or on an incline treadmill. Or we will find routes with stairs.

We will also interchange walking with other cross-training activities like biking or jogging. We can even perform resistance exercises like squats, lunges, and leg curls to further tone and strengthen the leg muscles.

Enhance creativity

Walking can help clear your mind and help you think creatively. One study involving four experiments compared people trying to think of new ideas while walking or sitting. The researchers found that the participants did better while walking, particularly when they walked outdoors.

The researchers concluded that walking opens up a free flow of ideas and is an easy way to increase creativity and be physically active at the same time.

advantages of walking


If we want to burn more calories and build strength while walking, we'll integrate some of these recommendations into our walking workouts:

  • Walking on slopes We can find a hilly area to walk or use an incline treadmill. Walking uphill will also help build muscle.
  • Perform intervals. We can add short bursts of jogging or running or walking strides.
  • Bring a pair of trekking or walking poles for the next hike. We will burn more calories and increase the heart rate while working the core and upper body muscles.
  • We'll add a weighted vest (instead of ankle or hand weights). The additional weight of the vest will increase the strength and cardio benefits, while keeping us safe from imbalances.

On the other hand, to guarantee our safety when walking, we can follow these tips:

  • We will walk in designated pedestrian areas. We will look for well-lit areas if possible.
  • If we walk in the evening or early in the morning, we will use a reflective vest or a light so that cars can see us.
  • We will wear sturdy shoes with good heel and arch support.
  • We will wear loose and comfortable clothing.
  • We will drink a lot of water before and after the hike to stay hydrated.
  • We will use sunscreen to prevent sunburn, even on cloudy days.

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