What happens To Your Body When You Walk More?
Have you ever found yourself asking the question, “What happens to your body when you walk more?”
When you increase the amount you walk, you will start noticing an increase in energy, stamina, and mood. With just 30 minutes of walking daily, you can decrease your blood pressure, lower your risk of heart disease, and increase your chances of a longer, healthier life.
What are the Benefits of Walking?
There is a slew of benefits to walking for a short period of time each day. It doesn’t matter if you are strolling the park on your lunch breaks during the workweek or first thing in the morning to boost your energy, preparing you for the day; walking is going to change your life. Here are a few reasons you should consider taking up walking as a routine.
- Builds Muscles
- Increases Circulation
- Burns Fats
- Aids in Digestion
- Improves Your Mood
- Helps You Sleep
- Reduces anxiety
Can Walking Too Much be Bad for You?
Walking too much or too fast can cause some unwanted side effects. You can injure yourself, setting you back on your fitness endeavors or you may end up burning yourself out.
Getting too much more than ½ to 45 min of walking in a day can become overwhelming and start to feel more like a chore than a leisure activity, making you want to do it less and less.
What Primary Muscles are Toned by Walking?
Walking is a fantastic workout for your entire body inside and out. However, you will notice the most significant changes in your lower half when it comes to muscle building. The muscle groups targeted and active the most while walking include:
If you choose to walk with wrist weights, you can work out your arm muscles such as the biceps and triceps and the muscles in your shoulders and upper back. If you choose to walk with dumbells do not curl or fly your dumbells while walking. If you curl or fly with dumbbells while walking you are throwing off your normal gait which could lead to compensation factors from other muscles that you don’t normally use.
Are There any Negative effects of Walking too Much?
The negative effects you will see from walking will not necessarily be from walking too much, but walking too much too soon.
Not giving your body enough time to build up enough endurance and strength can cause many walk/run injuries to your body, including but not limited to.
- Muscle cramping
- Muscle sprains or tears
- Shin splits
- Planters fasciitis
Just like any other exercise routine, you have to ease yourself into it, increasing over time, allowing your body to get stronger before putting more pressure on it.
What Does Walking do For Your Body Shape?
If you are persistent and walk the recommended amount of time for at least 5-6 days a week, you should start to notice more definition in your legs and buttocks muscles. With the right diet that provides more satiation with proteins, you will also begin to see that your body fat is disappearing from head to toe.
Can You Lose Belly Fat By Walking?
You can absolutely lose belly fat by walking. You lose belly fat when your heart rate hits the “fat-burning” zone. You can easily hit this zone during your walks, and maintaining it may be easier for some than cross-training exercises like running or cycling.
Walking for at least five days a week at 30 minutes a day can help you lose up to a pound a week if you are dedicated to the workout.
Related: How To Walk 10,000 Steps A Day
Is Walking Better Than Running?
The answer to this question will differ from person to person. It is going to change depending on your health, age, and overall goals.
If you are looking to burn calories and lose weight faster, running will be a better choice because as long as you are doing it correctly, you will burn calories up to two times faster than walking.
However, if you are elderly or have health concerns, walking will be a much better exercise because it is a low-intensity workout.
If you have just started your journey to a healthier you, you always have the option of starting off walking, slowly increasing your strength and stamina to prepare your body for a run.
For a deeper dive into this topic check out my post: Is Walking Better Than Running?
What Happens to Your Body When You Walk for an Hour Every Day?
Walking for an hour every day can do wonders for your over health. It can offer so many benefits for your mind, body, and soul, as long as you can do it safely and your body is prepared for that amount of exercise.
An hour a day of walking will help you burn calories, lower your body fat, and increase your happiness. People who get outside daily tend to be less stressed, less depressed, and more focused.
Studies also show that both walking and being outside can boost your immune system, increase respiratory functions, and fights against inflammation.
Related: How To Run Safely At Night
How do you transition from walking to running?
Before you attempt to start running it’s probably a good idea to give yourself a thorough VO2 Max assessment (overall cardiovascular fitness test) by performing the Bridgeport Walking Test. The test requires only a watch or smartphone to time a 1-minute walk at your fastest pace without running.
The results of the test will give you a good benchmark to use before you start running. After you start running for a few months go back and retest yourself to see if your results have improved. To move from walking to running, you want to use a walk/run technique where you focus more on walking while throwing in a minute or so of running and repeating the cycle. For a super detailed article, I put together for walk/running, check out How To Use The Run/Walk Method.
How to level up your walking skills
Are you ready to push your walking to the next level? Maybe you want to learn to walk faster or walk further than you’ve ever dreamed possible. Many walkers have no problem walking 5Ks and 10Ks, but when it comes to the half marathon –> 13. 1 miles –> 21 kilometers –> people’s eyes get wide and they question their ability. I’m here to let you know I’ve solved this issue for free right here on my website. I go through detailed pacing charts to make sure you can finish a half marathon in under 4 hours. Most half marathon cut-off times are 4 hours. If you get a 5 hour half marathon closing time – you’re golden. Another hack is to simply walk your half marathon on the same course as a marathon giving you a 6 to 7-hour window (How long do Marathons Stay Open For Runners) to finish your race.
No matter who you are or what type of health concerns you have, walking is a fabulous way for just about anyone to get in a great workout daily. It is easy on your joints, and you can pick your own pace. So take your time, enjoy the great outdoors and walk as much as you can!