Most of us have heard of the numerous benefits associated with regular exercise or at least a walk in the park to get the body moving. Apart from its physical benefits, walking also offers other positive side effects to the mind. A regular walk out in nature or even in the gym can significantly reduce stress, anxiety, calm the mind, and make you feel better. It is a great way to let go of negative emotions and continue the day with a head held high.
However, all walking is not the same. There are different types of walking styles, which all provide different types of benefits for the mind and body. For instance, those enthusiastic about the exercise can choose between standard walking, power walking, or racewalking. There is also an extremely interesting and healthy for the body type of walking – brisk walking.
In this article, we will dive deeper into brisk walking to uncover what it actually means and explore its benefits. Here we go!
What is brisk walking?
Brisk walking is different from ordinary walking and can be defined as walking in a pace of more than three miles per hour. In other words, if you are practicing the activity of brisk walking you would be able to cover a mile in 20 minutes. It is a moderate-intensity workout accompanied by a wide array of benefits, both from a fitness perspective and a health perspective. We already mentioned the average speed which is typical for a brisk walker. However, if your fitness level is above the average, it may be different.
For instance, individuals with more fitness preparation may not reach the moderate-intensity exercise zone walking at a 3.0 mph speed. The speed may need to increase to 4.0 mph or you may need to cover a mile in 15 minutes instead of 20. The idea is to reach a rise in the heart rate and achieve a certain breathing rate. In fact, brisk walking is not so much concerned with the speed at which you are walking but your exertion (measured using your heart rate and breathing rate). The easiest way to know if you are brisk walking is trying to speak or sing during the exercise. Speaking should be achievable but singing should not be possible during brisk walking.
Why is brisk walking better?
There is a lot of evidence suggesting that brisk walking may, in fact, be preferable over standard walking when it comes to the provided benefits. It is perceived as one of the quickest, easiest, and cheapest ways to keep a healthy mind, a strong body, and young soul. Brisk walking can be done anywhere, as long as you are ready to take on the challenge.
Here are some of the main benefits that brisk walking provides:
1. Brisk walking helps you lose weight faster.
Did you know that if you brisk walk for 30 minutes you could lose up to 200 calories? This fact can certainly change your mind when it comes to taking a casual walk in the park to lose some weight. You don’t have to go all in at the gym but can rather form the habit of brisk walking a couple of times a day to stay in shape. The method is extremely powerful when combined with a healthy diet and is the perfect way to keep a summer body all year long.
2. Brisk walkers tend to have a stronger immune system.
Your body has incredible functions and can be all that you need when it comes to prevention and tackling sickness – as long as it is well taken care of. Apart from taking vitamins, minerals, and other essential for the body resources, brisk walking can be another way to strengthen the immune system and ensure that your body is working at top speed.
Regular walking helps the body generate T cells, which are the cells that fight with the infected cells in the body. Infected cells are disastrous for the immune system as they damage and limit the regular functions essential for healthy living. By creating more T cells, brisk walking supports the body in the fight with harmful cells.
3. You can reduce back pain with brisk walking.
Back pain is among the most commonly seen discomforts and can actually turn into a pretty serious condition if not taken care of or treated. It can be caused by irregular exercise, a wrong sitting posture, or even a poor choice of a sleeping mattress. Brisk walking is among the top suggestions for reducing back pain offered by professional physicians. It can help the body release serotonin and endorphins and therefore eliminate the pain with no medications (depending on the specific condition).
Brisk walking with pain back may be extremely difficult at first but the advice is to start slow and gradually increase the speed as the back adapts to the movement.
4. It may be the solution to problems with circulation.
Walking at a faster speed can lead to a strengthened heart and a stronger circulatory system. In fact, brisk walking for a few miles daily can help with the reduction of blood pressure by more than 11 points for the time period of six months, which is a pretty impressive result.
If you have serious circulation issues it is best to visit a medical professional and have a discussion regarding the potential of brisk walking helping you eliminate the problem.
5. Brisk walking strengthens the bones.
For patients suffering from osteoporosis, brisk walking is a great way to eliminate the risk of losing bone mass. The activity can even help provide strength for the bones and even boost the bone density. It is also a great way to work out your leg and abdominal muscles. If done properly and with the right posture, the abs and waist can also be toned up.
6. It reduces stress and anxiety.
Brisk walking is an ideal choice for someone looking to let some steam off while exercising. If you have gathered stress or negativity towards a situation or a person, what better way to let it all go than by brisk walking?
The science behind the activity explains this through the release of endorphins and other chemicals, which result in an emotional boost.
7. Your body is less exposed to chronic disease if you brisk walk.
In general, forming the habit of brisk walking on a regular basis can help you prevent a chronic disease becoming an issue for your body. It can actually be a preventative method for a number of conditions, including heart stroke or heart disease. Brisk walking leads to lower LDL cholesterol (which is the harmful cholesterol in the body) and higher HDL cholesterol (the good cholesterol in the body).
If we jumped to numbers, we can say that if you brisk walk for 15 minutes after a meal you can decrease your blood sugar level for more than 24 hours.
8. Brisk walking is great for your joints.
Another benefit of brisk walking is its supportive effect on the joints. The joint cartilage lacks direct blood supply and its only source for nutrition is the joint fluid that circulates in the body while we move. When we walk, the cartilage is squeezed and oxygen and nutrients are provided to the area. Irregular walking, in other words, leads to the joints not receiving enough life-giving fluid and they can be harmed and damaged easily.
9. It is a great way to boost your energy.
All that we have covered until now as benefits from brisk walking leads to one conclusion – brisk walking can overall give the energy boost that you may be after. Especially if you give the exercise a try with your favorite music playing in your ears – the results can be magical.
10. It is a social activity that can be shared with others.
The best part is that brisk walking is an extremely social activity which can be performed with friends or loved ones. It is also a great way to meet new people with a similar mindset on working out as your own. Brisk walking can be a perfect little getaway from the daily routine and open up a whole new world of adventure and most importantly – health benefits.
If you have little or no experience with brisk walking, don’t let this scare you or put you off. The activity may not be very easy for starters but once you get into the habit of gradually increasing your walking speed you will see that in no time you will have become a brisk walker. Follow your development and if necessary keep track of the speed at which you are moving to ensure you are improving with time.