Is walking good exercise?

Walking can be a phenomenal form of daily exercise. A prolonged walk of 30 minutes or more should be a sufficient cardio workout for most adults. Walking keeps the body stimulated and you will see benefits throughout your entire body. The intensity and tempo of the walk will increase or decrease the results, but if you are not a very active person—the sky is the limit—walk it up.

Walking is a fantastic form of exercise, and it can benefit the whole body with very little chance of injury. I recommend frequent walking-at least 30 minutes a day, no excuses-for overall health.

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Walking is great exercise for a number of reasons. Walking is something that almost everyone can do and it's a great form of cardio. Your walks can be leisurely or you can pick up the pace if you want to elevate your heart rate. Walking is also an activity that can be done almost anywhere—both inside and outside. When it's warm you can take a walk around your block or at the park, but even when it's cold out you can still take a few laps around the mall or grocery store. Every little bit of physical activity makes a difference so adding more walking to your day can be great for your overall fitness.

Walking is good exercise whether just beginning or a veteran exerciser. Walking is an easy form of exercise that most doctors recommend. Always consent with your doctor for their approval before starting any new exercise program. No special equipment is required for walking, except good supportive shoes. Walking helps build a good cardio foundation.

This foundation increases lung capacity and helps bring more oxygen to the muscles, which will help prepare you for future cardio and strength exercise oxygen demands. Walking helps the body to circulate blood which aids in waste removal from the body. When recovering from an injury or post-surgery, depending on the type of surgery and doctor’s advice, walking can be a way of building or maintaining basic lung capacity. Why not invite a friend and go for walk now.

Enjoy the companionship and you may not even realize you are even exercising.

Think about the typical day some of us have:

We wake up in the am, get out of bed, sit down and eat breakfast, get in our car or sit on a bus to commute to work, take an elevator to our office, sit down for a few more hours and work, get up so we can sit down and eat lunch, go back to our desk and finish our workday, get on the elevator, go sit down in our car drive home, order our dinner from a takeout menu, sit and eat our dinner, walk our dishes to the sink and maybe clean them, and then sit back on the couch to watch tv for a few hours, then get up and go to our bed to sleep.

Where is the movement?

Now imagine that day with 30 minutes or so of walking. Maybe try to imagine it with three 10 minute walks; one in the early am, one at lunch and then a final walk after dinner. While I am certainly sympathetic to the busy lives we all lead, I also believe that we need to prioritize our health and fitness and incorporate at least 30 minutes of walking each day. Hopefully, when that simple act becomes consistent part of our day it will lead to other fitness activites.

Walking is a simple, low impact form of exercise that requires no fancy equipment or instruction. Walking for 30 total minutes each day will defintely help those who seek simple, general health benefits.

Dr. Kent G. Meredith, MD
Cardiologist (Heart Specialist)

Yes! In fact, walking is probably one of the most basic and most important things one can do for good long-term cardiovascular health. For most patients without significant heart disease or other risk factors, they can simply start a program with a goal to walk at least 30 minutes daily, four to five days per week. Depending on age, weight, and how sedentary one has been, initial efforts may need to start with a much more modest goal. Starting with only a few minutes a day, one can gradually plan to increase the duration by a few minutes per week. Unless training for athletic performance, the objective is generally to simply walk at a moderate pace and sustain it (no stopping to talk!) for the entire exercise time.

Sedentary patients desiring to start exercising should first consult with their physician if they have a history of heart disease, or if they have significant cardiac risk factors, such as diabetes.

Finally, it is important to remember to do some brief stretching exercises before and after walking, wear appropriate clothing (reflective gear at night), and avoid dangerous traffic or terrain areas. Large, indoor facilities such as shopping malls or fitness centers are ideal for walking during bad weather.

Mike Allard, NASM Elite Trainer
Fitness Specialist

Walking is a great mode of cardiovascular exercise if you are just beginning an exercise program. As your body becomes more efficient and your work capacity increases, you will need to progress to a more difficult forms exercise depending on your fitness goals.

The issue here is that the human body was designed to walk. This means that we can perform this activity using minimal energy. Believe it or not, you only burn about 80 calories walking a mile! So if your goal is to burn as many calories as possible, you can change some variables that will give you more "bang for your buck."

Here are a couple suggestions:

  • Walk on an incline, even if it is only a slight grade. This is a great way to make walking more difficult. There is a secret to this though; if you are using a treadmill to walk on an incline, make sure that you do not hold on. The reason walking on an incline is more beneficial than walking flat is because of the slight forward lean that is required. This lean forces the backside of the body (called the posterior chain) to stretch and work harder. If you hold on and straighten your posture up then you defeat the purpose of the incline. Next time you are at the gym, take a look at how many people are walking on a steep incline and holding on to the top of the treadmill. The body will always find the path of least resistance.
  • You could also begin doing intervals. Instead of just walking at a constant pace, try working your way into intervals of walking and jogging or running. This is a great way to increase the difficulty of the exercise.
  • Instead of always walking forward, turn to the side and shuffle. Please perform this a slower pace, I don't need anyone getting tripped up! By shuffling to the side, you force your body to work in different ways by putting emphasis on different muscle groups.

Hopefully these suggestions will help you get the most out of walking and break up the monotony a little bit!

Walking is good exercise. Walking is one of those activities that people can choose from that will improve their well-being and help them live a healthier life.

Physical activity can take many forms. Even for those who have not participated regularly in fitness activities, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that starting out with a moderate-intensity aerobic activity, like brisk walking, will offer health benefits. Anyone with concerns about starting a fitness program should remember to check with their doctor first.

Trinity Health is a Catholic health care organization that acts in accordance with the Catholic tradition and does not condone or support all practices covered in this site. In case of emergency call 911. This site is educational and not a substitute for professional medical advice, always seek the advice of a qualified health care provider.

Walking is great exercise, particularly for beginning exercises. As the oldest form of transportation and accessible anywhere in the world, walking not only allows you to engage and tone muscles in your upper and lower body, it also can assist with weight loss, and heart health.

Want to get started today try this beginner level walking program from NASM:

Week 1: 3 days/week

Warm-Up = 5 min, Brisk Walk = 3 min, Cool Down = 5 min; Total = 13 min

Week 2: 3 days/week

Warm-Up = 5 min, Brisk Walk = 4 min, Cool Down = 5 min; Total = 14 min

Week 3: 3 days/week

Warm-Up = 5 min, Brisk Walk = 5 min, Cool Down = 5 min; Total = 15 min

Week 4: 3 days/week

Warm-Up = 5 min, Brisk Walk = 7 min, Cool Down = 5 min; Total = 17 min

Jara Soost , NASM Elite Trainer
Athletic Training Specialist

Yes. Walking is wonderful exercise! When starting a new program or if you have not been active for a while, walking may be a very good place to start. It gets you moving, can increase your heart rate and has less impact on your joints than running.

If you have specific goals to reach, however, the "some is better than none" approach probably won't work with walking. Your body gets used to the exercise you do. You can change up this workout by:

  • Walking a further distance in the same period of time.
  • Walking for a longer period of time.
  • Monitor your heart rate every minute or two and allow your heart rate to increase for a minute and then decrease for a minute. (There are many variations to use your heart rate for cardio training.)
  • Use good walking shoes, add your favorite music so you don't just lollygag and away you go!
Toby Garza , NASM Elite Trainer
Fitness Specialist

Walking is amazing! Most people that walk at a brisk pace are in the heart rate zone that burns the most fat calories (which is not a bad thing). So keep up the walking and, hey, why not jog for a sec or two.

Walking is what we were born to do and is the finest overall exercise we can give our body. Walking with correct posture, and changing our walking variables (speed/incline), will help increase our fitness, calories consumption, and health.

Walking is great exercise. For those of you who are new to exercise or have had some limitations in the past this is a great way to start. While walking is better than nothing at all remember it does have its limitations. Now for people who can do more than just walking you still need to challenge yourself. Walking will burn the least amount of calories of any type of cardiovascular activity. Just remember based on your goals and your limitations know if walking will be the best form of exercise for you.

Walking is a great cardiovascular exercise. Of course, I'm referring to a walk that gets your heart rate pumping, and keeps it elevated. A slow stroll, while still quite enjoyable isn't going to give you the same cardiovascular benefits as a brisk walk. Walking is less jarring on your joints when compared with running and requires very little equipment. Just lace up some good walking shoes and head outside. Your heart will thank you.

Walking is one of the most natural and popular forms of exercise for weight loss and or maintenance. It was one thing we all do everyday anyway. Put it into a routine and voila an exercise plan. Combine this with a heart rate monitor and over time changing the pace on an interval basis can be extremely effective. With the right shoes, this is a great low impact activity and can lead into other forms of exercise.

Walking is great exercise. Walking is our basic mode of movement. No need to purchase any equipment, just have a comfortable, supportive pair of athletic shoes and walk. Even someone new to exercise and fitness can walk. Choose your distance, you may have to start with a short route like just to the end of your street. Do that for a week, then on week two increase your walk to twice up and down the street, increase your distance each week until you can go around your block, etc. You will feel better, have more energy and start burning those calories.

Shannon Jay Dougherty
Fitness Specialist

Yes, walking is a great form of exercise. It only requires a pair of shoes and putting one foot in front of the other. If you want to challenge yourself while walking, it’s simple to increase your speed and or incline, if you are on a treadmill. Waking is something you can do anywhere. If you live in the desert or a cool climate, try mall walking. Window shop while you burn calories, improve your health. Only 30 minutes of walking 3 times a week is a great mood improver.

Walking is a low impact activity with great health benefits. Try incorporating it in your everyday life. To get the most out of your walk, try my 4 suggested movements to prepare your body before you head out the door.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.