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Walk to exercise | Healthy UNH

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The benefits and why we shouldn’t discredit it

Think back to the last time you went to the gym and used cardio equipment. Whether you were on the treadmill, elliptical, or cycling; you most likely saw someone walking on the treadmill. When he saw this, maybe even for a fraction of a second, he thought to himself “what a waste of time.” Or “that doesn’t even count as actual exercise.”

I think we’ve all done something like this before.

But before any further judgment, I think it’s time for you to reassess and let’s see why walking shouldn’t be discredited as a good (and valid) form of exercise.

Whether it’s a leisurely stroll or a brisk walk, walking has the same effect on the body as running (or any other form of cardiovascular exercise). The heart begins to beat, breathing becomes heavy, sweat begins to form, and endorphins are released. Calories are burned for energy; and the core muscles, legs and arms are strengthened. When considering all of these things that occur during any form of cardiovascular exercise, the only thing that sets them apart is the pace at which we move.

In some cases, walking can be more favorable than running. On a day with extreme weather (hot or cold), walking can put less stress on the body. If you are recovering from an injury or illness, walking can be a great alternative to all forms of exercise. If you are simply feeling depressed and not very motivated, taking a walk may be what you need to clear your mind and feel refreshed.

The benefits of a hike are endless. So the next time you feel depressed or want to do some body movement; Call a friend or grab your headphones and go for a walk!

Let us know where some of your favorite places to hike are by emailing us at [email protected]!

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