Walking keeps you in shape. It is good for your health. It may even help you lose weight. It’s also one of the best prevention actions for disease, and most importantly for people who are currently recovering from Covid.
Jose Luis Felipeprofessor and researcher at the Faculty of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences of the European University and Maria Jesus Marin, researcher in the IGOID (Research in the Management of Sports Organization and Objects) group, tell us Sport and Life, all the benefits of walking.
Are you losing weight every day at a gentle pace?
Walking at a gentle pace is a type of mild to moderate physical activity, depending on the person doing it. According to the WHO definition, physical activity is any movement of the body performed by skeletal muscles, and thus energy consumption.
This includes activities performed in work, play and travel, housework and recreation. So, These activities would include gentle walking. Although it does not require much intensity and speed to perform it, it does have a lot Health benefitsat any age.
Doing some physical activity is better than not doing itas it will help reduce a sedentary lifestyle. Including 30 to 60 minutes of walking throughout the day will help us easily achieve the recommended levels of physical activity, improving our energy balance and, consequently, controlling weight. Now, if your goal is to lose weight, it is advisable to increase the intensity or duration of this activity.
Is ankle weight good for weight loss or is it more for building muscle?
Using ankle weights, add added value to the work done. It’s a displacement or lifting of a weight increases our muscle mass in the lower body. The consequence of building more muscle mass is not to lose weight, but to tone your muscles.
Building muscle mass can go hand in hand with losing fat (Food plays a fundamental role in this process.) The lean part of the body is called muscle mass or lean mass, and includes muscle, water, bones, and organs. The more lean mass we have, the more metabolic expenditure we will have when resting, because it is the part of our body that burns calories throughout the day, which helps our body function properly.
Therefore, uThe use of ankle weights will allow us to build muscle mass, and thus, despite the increase in fat loss, it may or may not be accompanied by weight loss. We will have to take into account the type of exercise we are doing and that the greater the number of pounds or the greater the number of repetitions this process will speed up.
In times of a pandemic, is it better (if you don’t have time) to go for a walk than do nothing?
Any physical activity is better than nothing, and the more the better. To improve health and well-being, the WHO recommends a minimum of 150-300 minutes of moderate aerobic activity per week for all adults and an average of 60 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise per day for children and adolescents. Walking can be a moderate activity depending on the intensity with which it is performed, and given that every physical activity counts, we should integrate walking into work, sports and recreation or in motion, as well as in daily tasks and at home.
So, walking will help us reduce the high level of sedentary lifestylesand this leads to a decline risk of heart disease, cancer and type 2 diabetes. You might find that the restriction of sitting time and physical activity practicing activities like walking is good for your health.
How positive is it for those who have overcome COVID by walking daily?
The consequences of becoming infected with COVID vary from person to person. People with few symptoms usually do not report functional consequences. However, in a small percentage of those infected, symptoms persist for more than 4 weeks after the infection is resolved. One of the most common symptoms after contracting the virus is excessive fatigue from daily activities that they might previously have been doing normally.
In this situation, It is recommended that you begin your exercise program gradually. The Spanish Society of Pulmonology and Thoracic Surgery recommends a therapeutic exercise program based on, inter alia, through strength training with elastic bands or with weights and progressive aerobic resistance, such as walking.
The benefits of incorporating walking into our daily lives after COVID are numerous. This will help us strengthen the body’s defenses physical exercise is immunoprotective in addition, it controls weight and limits a sedentary lifestyle, thus helping to reduce all related diseases.
On the other hand, it will improve our lungs and cardiovascular efficiencythis is a previous step to allow for more intensive activities in the future. At the end, will improve our moodbecause exercise helps to release dopamine during exercise.
Can you say that walking prevents disease?
Yes, in addition to all of the benefits previously described, walking will improve muscle and cardiovascular health, bone and functional health, reduce your risk of high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, stroke, diabetes, depression or some type of cancer, and reduce your risk of falls and fractures in the vertebrae or hip. Finally, it will balance the body’s energy and help control weight (WHO, 2020).
If we want to lose weight, do we start with a walk or some other activity?
The ideal way to lose weight properly and healthy is to do it gradually, including strength exercise and aerobics. Strength exercises increase metabolism at rest, that is, speed up metabolism, and this contributes to greater weight loss.
On the other hand, aerobic exercise such as walking, will increase our heart rate, and with it our energy expenditure. However, the intensity with which this activity should be performed should be greater if our goal is weight loss. For beginners, I would choose a combination of strength training and walking as an aerobic activity, gradually increasing the intensity.
How much weight can you really lose by just walking?
Countless factors are involved in this response. It would be a big mistake to confirm or give an exact value. Each exercise involves three elements: the person doing the exercise, the type of activity and planning. No two people react in the same way to the same exercise. An individual’s metabolism, the time of day it is grown, the amount and intensity of this activity are factors that influence weight loss, among other factors.
However, everything can be calculated indirectly, more roughly and individually if we know certain physiological parameters, such as a person’s basic metabolic expenditure per day, as well as energy consumption during the activity performed.