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Brisk Walking - Steps To A Healthy Life: 14 Health Benefits of Brisk Walking

  • 10 min read

Brisk Walking - Steps To A Healthy Life: 14 Health Benefits of Brisk Walking

It’s a common myth that getting fit is only about eating healthy and exercising vigorously. In reality, creating a healthy lifestyle and maintaining it isn’t about just those two factors.

Being able to keep a positive attitude, strong mental health, and a healthy self-image, can all help you lead a happier life and possibly a longer one. The best part is; you don’t have to turn your world upside down to get there. In fact, there’s increasing evidence that some simple everyday steps literally may be surprisingly powerful. What’s not to like about brisk walking? It’s free. It’s easy to do, and it’s easy on the joints. And there’s no question that walking is good for you. 

What Is Brisk Walking

Brisk walking is quite vague—is it a bit faster than your normal pace? Or is it a lot faster? There are three ways to measure your speed to know that you’re doing it “briskly.”

  • Heart rate - the first thing you need to measure to determine if you’re walking fast enough is your heart rate, which should be between 50 and 85% of your maximum heart rate. According to the to American Heart Association, your target heart rate during moderate-intensity exercise is around 50 to 70% of your maximum heart rate, while it should be 70 to 85% of your maximum heart rate during vigorous activity. 

The maximum heart rate is at 220 beats per minute (bpm) minus your age in years. You can calculate your target heart rate range here.

• Steps per minute

you can also measure your steps per minute by counting your steps. Based on a study published in the British Journal of Sports medicine, an average healthy adult who walks at least 100 steps per minute means he or she is walking fast enough to get substantial fitness benefits. An excellent way to keep track of your steps per minute is by wearing a fitness tracker.

Steps per minute

• Talk test

Measure your pace by talking while walking. If you can speak comfortably with some breathlessness, you’re walking at a moderate but brisk pace. On the other hand, if you can’t talk easily, because you’re out of breath, it could be that you’re going at a vigorous pace. If you can sing out loud while you’re walking, then that means the pace is too slow to be considered a brisk walk.

Talk test

So, what is the difference between walking vs. brisk walking? It’s simple—walking is going at a normal pace, like how you would normally walk on a Sunday to get coffee in the morning down the block. Brisk walking, on the other hand, is walking at a faster pace, but not running nor walking.

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 a young soul. 

Brisk walking can be done anywhere as long as you are ready to take on the challenge. It is a refreshing alternative to complicated aerobic routines and overpriced gym memberships.

Health Benefits Of Brisk Walking And More…

Here are the health benefits of brisk walking that you should know about.

Lose Weight / Reduce Body Fat

Walking, specifically brisk walking, has been linked to weight loss and helps reduce body fat. The amount of weight you can lose by walking varies but a study

found that participants lost an average of three pounds by walking. The study also reported that the more you walk, the more weight you will lose.

To lose weight, walk like you are at the airport and your plane is about to depart. At least, try to fit in 30 minutes of brisk walking on a flat surface every day. Not only will this help you lose weight, but it can help protect you against heart disease.

Strengthen Your Heart

Brisk walking temporarily increases the heart rate and blood pressure, which leads to greater heart efficiency. The heart is a muscle with fibers that contracts and pumps blood with each heartbeat. During exercise, the heart becomes more efficient and delivers more oxygen and nutrients to other organs.

It is recommended to do at least 30minutes of brisk walking a day. Individuals who have certain heart conditions may also engage in brisk walking to prevent further heart disease. However, you may need to clear it with your doctor first before you do any physical activity. 

• Reduce Stress and Anxiety

Brisk walking boosts the production of stress-busting endorphins. Through this, it helps reduce the stress hormones and helps relieve any signs of depression. By choosing to exercise regularly, you can help improve your mood and even increase your self-esteem.

Brisk walkers tend to experience more of the stress and anxiety-reducing benefits of walking compared to individuals who walk at a slower pace.

Reduce Stress and Anxiety

• Strengthen Your Bones

The pull of a muscle against a bone, together with the force of gravity when you walk, will stress the bone, which responds by stimulating tissue growth and renewal.

Walking helps improve bone density, particularly in the hip and femoral neck area. Brisk walking improves bone health and osteoporosis. Furthermore, it can help stop the loss of bone mass for people with osteoporosis. A study of postmenopausal women found that 30 minutes of walking every day reduced their risk of hip fractures by 40 percent.

Reduce Stress and Anxiety

• Extend Your Life

Walking for at least 30 minutes a day or more on most days of the week is an excellent way to improve or maintain your overall health. The fact that walking can help increase cardiovascular fitness, strengthen bones, reduce excess body fat, and boost muscle power is enough to guarantee that it can help extend your life.

Reduce Stress and Anxiety

• Improve Sleep

A small study showed that walking helps individuals who have difficulty falling asleep at night. It was conducted to older adults aged 55 to 65, which showed that those who walk in the morning versus the evening experienced better sleep quality at night.

Reduce Stress and Anxiety

Walking is also linked to body temperature and sleep. The body temperature and the brain’s sleep-wake cycle is highly connected. Body temperature increases during late-afternoon exercise, which is followed by a drop in temperature that accompanies sleep onset. Sleep occurs more easily alongside walking or other regular physical activity. 

Furthermore, brisk walking also eases muscular tension and increases the body’s production of endorphins. With all of these, it creates a better sense of well-being, which will help you sleep better.

• Eases Joint Pain

Walking can help protect the joints because it helps lubricate and strengthen the muscles that support the joints. It can also help people with arthritis as it can help reduce pain. If you have no arthritis or joint pain but want to prevent it, it is recommended you walk five to six miles a week.

Reduce Stress and Anxiety

Walking can help protect the joints because it helps lubricate and strengthen the muscles that support the joints. It can also help people with arthritis as it can help reduce pain. If you have no arthritis or joint pain but want to prevent it, it is recommended you walk five to six miles a week.

According toDr. Virginia Buers Kraus, a professor at Duke University’s Molecular Physiology Institute, movement is essential for nutrition of the cartilage. This is because the cartilage has living cells, which means that the only way to get nutrition to it is by dynamic motion. The fluid inside the joint flows into and out of the cartilage like a sponge, which allows all the nutrients in the joint fluid to get into the cartilage. In turn, this slows down any degradation. 

 

• Improve Your Breathing

Brisk walking for at least 30 minutes is known to help improve lung capacity. It also helps strengthen the lung, which allows individuals to breathe easier. Moreover, this will help the lungs stay healthier longer.

Reduce Stress and Anxiety

• Slow Down Mental Decline

Research showed that 20 to 30 minutes of exercise, such as walking, before undertaking a mental task may quicken reaction time and sharpen decision making. Therefore, this slows down cognitive decline. It is recommended to take a brisk walk, especially if you are about to face a mental challenge because you will be able to get a more significant brain benefit. 

Reduce Stress and Anxiety

• Lower Alzheimer’s Risk

Astudy from the University of Virginia Health System in Charlottesville found that men between 71 and 93 years old who walked more than a quarter of a mile per day had half the incidence of  Alzheimer’s disease and dementia compared to those who walk less.

Reduce Stress and Anxiety

• Boost Your Energy

The next time you feel tired, instead of grabbing your usual cup of Joe, why don’t you go for a brisk walk instead? A walk will help increase the oxygen flow through the body, which will increase the level of cortisol along with other hormones that can help elevate energy levels.

Reduce Stress and Anxiety

• Boost Immune Function

Brisk walking can also help boost your immune function, which will protect you from a cold, the flu, and other immune-related diseases. Physical exercise, such as walking, helps increase the number of white blood cells circulating in the blood. These cells fight infection and other conditions as part of the body’s immune system.

In fact, a2013 study where 800 young adults participated, showed that white blood cell count increased significantly after five minutes of exercise. Walking has also been known to help lower the number of sick days taken based on a 2011 study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, which tracked a thousand adults during flu season.

Individuals who walk at a moderate pace for 30 to 45 minutes a day had fewer sick days and fewer upper respiratory tract infections overall.

• Free For Life

Brisk walking doesn’t require any equipment at all and you can do it anywhere you want. You don’t need a gym membership or a personal trainer. That means you don’t have to pay for anything at all.

So, if you are looking for a way to get your body moving, brisk walking is the most accessible and most affordable thing you can do. You can do it anytime you want.

Reduce Stress and Anxiety

• Brisk Walking Is A Social Activity That Can Be Shared With Others

If you haven’t been out with people, you can take advantage of the time you allot for walking to do it with your friends, your spouse, or even your dog. With this, you get to maintain a healthy social life while you boost your overall health. Aside from that, it is more fun to brisk walk with somebody else. So, if you ever feel lonely walking alone, you will find it easier to invite someone to go for a walk instead of a workout.

Reduce Stress and Anxiety

How To Get Started

Choose a walking route near your home. Or look for a scenic place to walk in your area, such as a trail or on the beach. You can also do it inside your home by walking in different parts of your house when you can’t go out. Make it more fun by asking a friend or a family member to walk with you.

Tips For Staying Safe While Brisk Walking

  1. Get the most benefits by walking at least 30 minutes as briskly as you can. Moderate activities, such as walking pose a little health risk, but if you have a medical condition check with your doctor first.
  2. It is essential to stretch before brisk walking to help avoid injuries. You can start by stretching your leg muscles, specifically your calves, and front and back thighs. Hold each stretch for at least 20 seconds. However, remember not to overdo it. When you feel any pain, ease off the stretch.
    Reduce Stress and Anxiety
  3. A good warm-up is to walk slowly. You can start your brisk walk by walking at a leisurely pace to give your muscles time to warm up before you pick up the pace.
  4. Make sure you are wearing the proper gear. Keep it light, especially during the summer. As much as possible, avoid layering up because this can increase sweating, which will build up body temperature that can make you feel uncomfortable. 
  5. Make sure you have the proper pair of walking shoes. Your shoes should be comfortable and provide you with adequate heel and arch support.
  6. Brisk walking is not a race. So, take light and easy steps. When walking, ensure that your heel touches down before your toes.
  7. If possible, walk on grass or sand instead of concrete.
    Reduce Stress and Anxiety
  8. Make sure you wear reflective or bright-colored clothing, especially if you will be walking on the side of a busy road and at night. This will help keep you safe. Check out our Reflective Skull Cap Helmet Liner Running Beanie that you can wear while you are walking. At the same time, this will protect your head from the sun or keep you warm when it is cold outside. 
  9. Wear gloves to keep your hands warm. Our reflective gloves offer safety and protection, while they can let you easily use your mobile phones while wearing them as they are touchscreen compatible. 
  10. When it comes to sun protection, always have a hat on if you are walking during the day. This will help avoid sunburn, wrinkles, and most importantly skin cancer. Here at GearTop, we have a wide range of sun hats that can offer you maximum protection. If you want something that will look more fashionable, you can get our Reversible Sun Hat
  11. Make sure that you always stay hydrated. Carry enough water with you while brisk walking to avoid heat exhaustion, especially during the summer.

Conclusion

How many of us can commit to taking at least a 30-minute brisk walk on a regular basis? It can feel overwhelming at times, but it doesn't have to be complicated. In fact, it's possible to take a simple, realistic approach towards living a healthy lifestyle that actually feels achievable each day. A step at a time, enjoying the morning breeze while staying protected with our Sun Hat collection.

 

Check out our gloves as well, such as our reflective running gloves reflective running gloves. If you are not needing reflective features, we offer performance gloves as well. Either way, both these gloves will provide you with that additional grip, which means you can also take them when hiking to minimize blisters from hiking poles, and bring them out for other outdoor activities, such as brisk walking, running, and more!

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