Walking: a Super Food for Fitness

Walking: a Super Food for Fitness

Twenty minutes of walking a day – or its equivalent – can cut the risk of many diseases and premature death by almost a third.

American College of Sports Medicine’s (ACSM 2014) recommends  30–60 minutes a day of moderate-intensity exercise at least 5 days a week, or 20–60 minutes a day of vigorous-intensity exercise at least 3 days a week—or a combination of the two.

In the words of scientist Katy Bowman, walking is a biological imperative like eating “It is a super food. It’s the defining movement of a human. It’s a lot easier to get movement than it is to get exercise.”


A recent survey found that a third of people can barely manage to walk for 30 minutes over seven days, even when trips to the shops, work or school are considered.

Defining Moderate Intensity

Scientifically, walking at an intensity of 3–6 METs (metabolic equivalent of task is a physiological measure expressing the energy cost of physical activities) is considered moderate-intensity exercise.

Counting steps is another practical way to measure intensity. Marshall et al. (2009) determined that walking at approximately 100 steps per minute is moderate-intensity exercise. At 100 steps per minute, a walker can meet current recommendations for moderate-intensity physical activity by walking at least 3,000 steps in 30 minutes at least 5 days a week.

Group Walking: Find a Partner

According to research led by Sarah Hanson and Prof Andy Jones of UEA’s Norwich Medical School., risk of stroke, coronary heart disease, depression and other life-threatening conditions can be reduced through regular outdoor walking in groups.

Join a walking group, today to boost your overall health. The benefits are wide ranging – and they go above and beyond making people more physically active. What’s more, people find it relatively easy to stick with this type of exercise regime.

Why Walk? 

Research Findings show:

  • People who joined walking groups registered statistically significant falls in average blood pressure, resting heart rate, body fat, weight, and total cholesterol.

  • Walkers also experienced improvements in lung power, overall physical functioning, and general fitness, and they were less depressed than before they started walking regularly.

  • Evidence was less clear-cut for reductions in other risk factors for ill health, such as waist circumference, fasting blood glucose and blood fats.

  • Three-quarters of all participants stuck with the group, and there were few side effects, apart from a handful of falls on roots or wet ground, and minor injuries such as calf strain.

One way to promote and sustain walking is through the provision of outdoor health walk groups, schemes which typically organize short walks of under an hour in the natural environment.

Walking: a Super Food for Fitness

Tips for Effective Walking

  • Maintain good posture throughout

  • Push off with your toes.

  • As you walk, take deep, rhythmic breaths, to get the maximum amount of oxygen through your system.

  • If you want to firm up the upper body, try a pair of wrist weights to really pump those arm muscles.




Dated 19 February 2015


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