Contrary to what many hardcore gym-goers believe, walking is indeed a worthwhile way to exercise and stay healthy. According to the leading experts, walking is an excellent way to keep your weight in check, and, according to the Mayo Clinic, it can help “prevent or manage various conditions, including heart disease, high blood pressure, and type-2 diabetes.” One fascinating new study published in the journal Scientific Reports even found that major byproducts of walking more include enhanced creativity and overall happiness.
If walking is your exercise of choice—and if slimming down is your ultimate goal—how much should you be walking every day to burn more fat? According to the latest guidelines from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the recommendations for any form of moderate exercise every week is 150 to 300 minutes. To meet those goals, you’d need to walk at least a half-hour five days per week. But as Ash Wilking, a popular Nike Trainer and creator of the app Ash Fit on Demand, recently told us, the key to burning more fat while walking is to go longer. “For walking, where your heart rate stays a much lower rate and therefore has the time to access energy from fat, a longer walking workout will be considered more fat burning,” she says.
Cedric Bryant, Ph.D., FACSM, the president and chief science officer of the American Council on Exercise, agrees. As he recently told Today, you should try to hit 45 minutes to an hour when you go out, and you needn’t do it all at once—feel free to split your walk across different times of the day. As you increase your fitness levels, make sure to increase the intensity of your walks by marching up hills and potentially wearing a weighted vest. From firsthand experience, he agrees that you’ll also be boosting your creativity.
“I use walking on a personal level when I’m writing an article or editing a book,” Bryant told Today. “When I get stuck, I go out and walk.”
But if an enhanced fat burn is your goal, aim to walk for at least 45 minutes every day, and be sure to mix up your walks—the terrain, the inclines, the scenery—as you continue to improve. For more of the amazing benefits of walking every day, read on. And for more expert-approved ways to live a much healthier life, see these 200 Greatest Weight Loss Tips Ever.
It Will Increase Your Metabolism
“For most people, walking for extended periods of time each day can have an overall positive effect by providing a boost in your metabolic processes,” Ty Stone, an NASM-certified personal trainer,” explained to PopSugar.
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You’ll Strengthen Your Bones
According to the leading medical experts at the Mayo Clinic, “regular brisk walking” can strengthen your muscles and also your bones.
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You’ll Better Manage Your Blood Pressure
According to the health body of the Australian government, the health benefits of walking include “improved management of conditions such as hypertension (high blood pressure), high cholesterol, joint and muscular pain or stiffness, and diabetes.”
You’ll Lengthen Your Life
According to a study published in British Journal of Sports Medicine, regular walking at a brisk pace was associated with a 20 percent reduced risk of “all-cause death.” And for more great health advice you can use starting now, make sure you’re up to speed on the Sneaky Little Ways You Can Burn More Fat Every Day, According to Experts.