Walking is the most natural, intuitive, and practical form of exercise. Besides getting you from point A to point B, it burns calories, boosts energy, improves mood, wards off food craving, and helps keep you slim. If you want to lose weight, combining a sensible eating plan with exercise such as walking is far smarter than just cutting calories. It also tames the dreaded “jiggles,” helping you look and feel firmer. That’s why foot power is at the heart of every diet and fitness program.
The benefits of walking are many. It can help you:
1. Burn Fat
Blasting fat requires using your body’s biggest muscle groups – those in your buttocks and legs – rhythmically, briskly, and consistently for at least 20 minutes at a time. (That’s exactly why you should dedicate yourself to a brisk 20-minute walk every day.) During an aerobic workout such as walking, your muscle cells first burn sugar stored as fuel called glycogen; after about 15 minutes, your cells turn to fat as their primary power source.
2. Trim Stubborn Belly Fat
Walkers can lose significant abdominal fat – the stubborn fat that can be the toughest to lose (and the kind that raises your risk of diabetes and heart disease).
3. Make Your “Skinny Jeans” Your Everyday Jeans, For Good
Adding just 2,000 steps a day to your regular activities – that’s just 15 minutes of walking – could mean you’ll never gain another pound, say top weight-loss experts.
4. Have Energy To Burn
The more you walk, the more energetic you’ll feel. Even better: Just a short walk is all it takes! A brisk 10-minute walk gave people more energy than eating a chocolate bar. Why? Exercise releases hormones that increases energy.
5. Turn On Your Happy Switch
Can you walk your way to happiness? Absolutely. In fact, walking relieves mild-to-moderate depression better than drugs.