We are designed to walk. It’s in our DNA, and it’s a huge part of our emergence as the dominant species on this planet (along with opposable thumbs, big brains, and Nintendo).
Let’s get the basic stuff out of the way:
Every day, it’s recommended by the CDC that we walk around five miles, or 10,000 steps. Hence the reason why your Fitbit – which we’ll get to shortly – has that 10k step goal as its default number.
Unfortunately, we average 9 to 5ers tend to average HALF that: 2.5 miles or 5,000 steps. We’d imagine that people who work outdoors or have more physically active jobs drag that average way up.
Which leaves us desk jockeys, who don’t walk nearly enough.
We use our feet to get us from the front door, to our car, to our desk, to the vending machine, to our car, to our front door, to our couch… where we put them up while watching four hours of TV before going to bed.
Not walking enough can be a big factor in the creep-up of weight gain over the years, and it’s probably why you’re here reading this article!
“Can I walk more to lose weight? Is walking REALLY good for me, or do I need to do more intense exercise?”
Long story short, you should walk more and it can help you lose weight and be healthier.
Short story long, here’s why walking is important:
Walking burns calories without exhausting you. If you walked the recommended mileage each day (5 miles instead of just 2.5), it can lead to a tremendous amount of weight loss over time. You’ll burn an extra 100 calories!
Walking doesn’t add to training stress- If you are strength training regularly, adding in more weight training or running can lead to burnout, breakdowns, and injuries.
Walking is low impact- Unlike running, which can wreak havoc on people’s joints if they run improperly or are severely overweight, walking doesn’t have those impact issues.
Walking can burn fat- Well we don’t really need to explain this, do we !?
Walking relieves stress- Seriously! When you put on your iPod with your favorite playlist, you have a recipe to forget the worries of your day.
Walking improves mental health- Walking can improve mental health, increase brain size, improve memory, and thus, longer lifespans.