Surely you have ever heard that you have to walk a minimum number of steps per day and that 30 minutes is enough time to achieve it.
However, recent research has determined that it is not just about walking 30 minutes, but that it takes a certain intensity and technique to obtain these benefits.
This article looks at the benefits of walking 30 minutes a day and how is the technique that you should start doing it.
Why is walking 30 minutes a day sound?
In a report from the World Health Organization, it was estimated that 62.0% of the population over 20 years of age in Spain was overweight, and 26.6% were obese. (2)
According to another report, 43% of the Spanish population performs light physical activity such as walking at least once a week. (1) This data is promising and a good figure compared to other countries such as the US.
However, if it is not done with a good technique and is not accompanied by the proper diet, the long-term results are usually low to reverse this situation.
. Losing weight while walking is possible and is the first step to improving health indicators. However, you must have perseverance and dedication and improve your technique.
Walking is an activity that can be carried out at any time. It is a low-impact physical activity for anyone, even those with joint problems and older adults.
Benefits of walking 30 minutes a day
One of the direct benefits of walking is improving cardiovascular health, lower body muscles, and even losing weight. In addition, several studies associate walking with reducing levels of the stress hormone cortisol. (4,5,6)
These benefits increase when this activity is carried out in open spaces: parks, forests, and beaches. Walking in the open air stimulates the release of noreprefin and adrenaline. Both hormones are capable of reducing stress.
The health benefits of walking 30 minutes a day are described below:
- It can help you lose weight
Although you cannot compare the calories expended with other types of cardio such as CrossFit or HIIT, or the Tabata, walking regularly can help you lose weight. Swapping a couple of hours of Netflix at night for a night walk will cause direct benefits and allow you to get closer to your ideal weight.
- Reduce anxiety
Walking 30 minutes a day is one of the methods recommended by doctors to relieve mild anxiety symptoms. Research has dared to compare the effects of walking to those of aspirin. The main advantage: is walking; you get these benefits without contraindications or side effects. (3,4,5)
- A lower percentage of body fat
People who walk at least 30 minutes a day tend to have a lower body fat percentage. Walking regularly is an excellent strategy to achieve a more athletic figure and strengthen the muscles of the legs.
- Prevent diabetes, obesity, and arthritis
Walking 30 minutes a day is associated with preventing diseases such as diabetes, fatigue, overweight and obesity, hypertension, arthritis, hormonal imbalances, even dementia, and depression. These are more than essential benefits as you pass the age of 40.
- More vitamin D and serotonin
Combining a 30-minute walk a day with the sun allows for raising the levels of vitamin D and serotonin in the body. These two compounds are directly associated with well-being. In the winter season, feel free to take some time and go for a walk to reap these benefits and improve your mood.
How to walk to lose weight?
When the goal is to walk to lose weight, the key is to regulate the amount, speed, and technique.
An excellent method to lose weight by walking is to start at a gentle pace and pick up your speed after 15-20 minutes. It is best to concentrate on the technique after the muscles have warmed up to give it power and speed.
To lose weight, he recommends walking at 5-6 km / h. If you are not sure about your walk speed, you can resort to applications or sports technologies such as heart rate monitors.
The speed should be about three times less than running to get an idea. When walking, the zone of activity should be between (50-70% of the FMC) which is an optimal pulse for walking to lose weight (6).
If you are a bit more ambitious, you can jog and even reach the aerobic zone (70-80% of the FMC); this is the best zone to work endurance and increase heart strength.
The other parameter to determine when walking is the distance or number of steps. To achieve changes in the body, it is recommended at least 7 km per day, the equivalent of 10,000 steps.
Increasing the distance when walking is recommended to do so gradually. In the first week, 4 km can be a challenge. After a while, 7 km will be nothing.
It is important to remember that no matter how much a person can walk, 10 km per day. If you go straight for junk food or candy, you won’t see results in body weight. If you also combine walking with training to eliminate body fat, the effects will be enhanced by 100%.
As silly as it sounds, most people don’t walk the way they should. So the first step in starting to reap the benefits of walking 30 minutes a day and improving your weight loss results is learning the walking technique.
To walk correctly, the legs, buttocks, and abdomen muscles must be actively felt.
The chest should be out in good walking technique, the posture upright, and the shoulders relaxed. In each step, the muscles of the legs must remain active and firm. The support against the ground should be healthy but not strong.
For more incredible momentum, you can accompany the movement of the legs with your arms. While it is not a must, it will add an extra calorie expenditure when walking as well as it is an excellent way to activate the obliques.
People with flat feet are recommended to wear special slippers. This type of footwear allows for improving the posture and curvature of the foot when walking.
Is walking good for the bones?
Walking 30 minutes a day can reduce bone loss and prevent osteoporosis—one of the essential benefits after 40 years.
The worst thing for the bones is a sedentary lifestyle. People who have an inactive lifestyle are the most likely to suffer from some bone-related disorder after the age of 60. The more you walk and keep moving, the more your bones will thank you.
How many calories are expended when walking?
When you walk for an hour, you burn around 230 Kcal, the equivalent of a portion of French fries. Walking to lose weight is possible as long as caloric foods are avoided in the diet.
If you consider yourself a walking expert, you can incorporate sprints during your walks. Increasing maximum speed for 10-20 seconds is one of the best ways to burn different types of body fat.
How to warm up and stretch before hiking?
Because walking is a low-moderate intensity exercise, no physical warm-up exercises are required.
As for stretching, it is best at the end of the walk. Warming up earlier and with cold muscles can cause muscle injuries and tears. To avoid cramps, include foods with magnesium and potassium in your diet.
30-minute walk vs. functional exercises vs. HIIT
One of the benefits of walking is that it is an activity suitable for all ages and has the added advantage that it does not require more than a pair of shoes.
However, your weight loss results should not be overestimated. Combining walking with higher intensity training (such as functional training) is an excellent idea to improve fat-burning outcomes.
Exercises with bodyweight or functional are better to increase the maximum respiratory capacity or VO2 max.
Some of the benefits of high-intensity HIIT workouts are their short duration and high effectiveness for weight loss. However, it is not recommended for people who have any disorders in the cardiovascular system. Walking 30 minutes a day is the best option to lose weight in these cases.
Walking 30 minutes a day is an excellent way to lose weight, particularly for sports beginners and older adults.
The benefits of walking 30 minutes a day are the improvement of the cardiovascular system, the reduction of the body mass index, and toning of the muscles of the legs, buttocks, and abdomen.
In 30 minutes of walking, 120 kcal calories are used; to lose weight, you should always supplement with a proper diet.
Learning the walking technique and tensing your muscles on walks can significantly improve your weight loss results.