Is walking good aerobic exercise?

Dr. Mike Clark, DPT
Waling is a great exercise. Strive to get 10,000 steps/day. Try to add interval walking into your routine where you alternate between normal, medium and fast walking for 20 minutes.
Walking can be excellent aerobic exercise! Not only is it easy to do and requires no learning curve. (It is one of the first forms of efficient locomotion we learned as babies, after crawling on all fours got old!) Also, since it involves many groups of muscles working at the same time, walking is a great way to burn fat! Walking is an activity that can be easily progressed; from a very easy, beginners level that everyone can engage in, to an extremely demanding aerobic effort for even seasoned athletes. Depending on your fitness level, walking can serve as a warm-up, a workout, a cool down, or all three!

On a level grade and moderate pace, walking can be used as a functional aerobic recovery-day exercise… Conversely, when you add a vertical component to walking, it can serve as a stand alone cardiovascular workout. Again, depending on your fitness level, don't take my word for it-On your next cardiovascular workout, try getting on a treadmill, warming up with an easy 5 minute walk, and then set your speed at a 3.0 to 3.5 mph pace, while increasing your incline to 8 to 10 percent...and walk for 30 minutes then cool down. That's just an example, and the variables such as speed, incline, and time can be infinitely tweaked to keep you challenged and your heart rate in whatever zone you would like to maintain. If you like walking outdoors, you can challenge yourself by walking up steeper hills, or walk a mountain trail for beautiful scenery too.

Lastly, walking is an activity that the entire family or group of friends can enjoy. Whether on a charity walk, as an active social networking activity, or as a healthy aerobic exercise that family members can engage in, while spending quality time together!

Walking is great exercise and can be very beneficial aerobically.

Aerobic exercise is defined as "brisk physical activity that requires the heart and lungs to work harder to meet the body's increased oxygen demand. Aerobic exercise promotes the circulation of oxygen through the blood."

In other words, it's moving your body to get your heart and lungs to work a little harder. Walking is certainly something that can get your heart pumping and increase your breathing.

To get a good aerobic workout from walking you should feel your breathing increase just enough to where you could carry on a conversation, but with a bit of effort. To increase the intensity even more, you could add a slight hill to your route or pick up your pace just to where you have to catch your breath between sentences.

Either of these paces are effective for aerobic exercises; just do what you feel you are ready to do right now. Start at a comfortable pace until you are ready, or conditioned, to take on quicker paces or more hills.

Walk for at least 20 to 30 minutes, three or more times a week. It is a great way to get fit and add aerobic exercise to your lifestyle!


Aerobic exercise definition: Physical activity that requires the heart and lungs to work harder to meet the body's increased oxygen demand. Aerobic exercise promotes the circulation of oxygen through the blood. After defining aerobic exercise, I believe we must look at the individual and their goals to correctly answer the question.

The intensity needed from walking to accomplish the above demand on the circulatory system would vary based on the individual. In most cases a brisk walk would be required. Many experts recommend aerobic activity five to six times per week for 30-60m. Brisk walking is one of the most convenient ways to accomplish this recommendation. For global consideration walking can be a good aerobic exercise.

It is also important when answering the question to look at the individual's goals as well. For example if the goal is to be able to play in an organized soccer league, walking may not be considered a good choice to work the aerobic system. On the other end of the spectrum, brisk walking could be a great aerobic choice if the goal is to be able to play with your children at the park. A good walking program could allow you the ability to endure and sustain the park activities.

The best way to maximize your fitness through walking is to make sure that you are challenging the body by maintaining a specific heart rate. By this one can increase the pace by walking faster, and incorporating hills to make walking more challenging, which in turn will give you a great aerobic workout. 
Walking is one of the most basic forms of exercise that almost everyone can complete.  Your joints and muscles are built to function and keep your body moving, hence allowing you to walk.  As people age, muscular strength decreases and exercises such as walking are a great way to help reverse the decline.  In addition, walking helps circulate blood through the body and will help decrease inflamation around the area of the joint.  Be sure when walking to walk at a pace that is comfortable for you and your body to receive all the benefits walking has to offer!

Walking is a great aerobic exercise. It works muscles in a different way than running and the impact to your body is greatly reduced. The key is to make sure your pace is fast enough to get your heart rate up. This can be difficult if you are use to running or a faster paced exercise. One way to get your heart rate up while walking is to train on the treadmill at an incline and walk at a slower pace. It will take a couple of times to figure out the right incline and speed. 

If you have not done this type training before, no matter what your fitness level is warm-up by walking at a 2-3% incline and a comfortable warm-up pace…2.0-2.5. After 8 minutes, increase the incline 1-2% at a time. Walk for about 5 minutes to see how that incline affects your heart rate. If your heart rate has not increased enough, take it up 1-2% more. If your heart rate is where you need it, keep that pace for 30 minutes. Work up to 45 minutes if desired.

Some treadmills go up to 15% incline and some actually go up to 25% or more. Take time to work up to a higher incline. This increases the workload for the hamstring (back of leg) and gluteus (butt muscles). You will also feel this in your hips…deep in your hips…Yeah!  You will also feel this in your shin and claves at the beginning. They will burn for a bit but it goes away. Slow your pace to work through it if needed.

Remember to gradually progress to a longer distance. Increase your distance as you would in running…only 10% of your distance at a time to prevent injury.

Enjoy your walk!

Walking is great aerobic exercise!  It requires no equipment and you already know how to do it. No gym needed. You can do it alone or with some friends. It can be done at home on a treadmill or outside. I prefer outside but the treadmill is a good option as it has different levels of speed and resistance.

Regular walking, like most aerobic activities, is good for you because cardio-vascular exercise strengthens the heart and lungs, increasing overall fitness.

Together with diet and other exercise plans, it can also help with weight loss and tone up muscles.

Dr. Craig Williams a sports science lecturer at the University of Exeter is a firm believer in the benefits of walking, and says: 'It can improve muscle endurance as well as muscle strength, especially in the lower body.

'It is good for bones and improves the body's cardiovascular system. It also helps boost circulation.

'Power-walking - keeping a brisk pace at moderate to high intensity - can burn the same amount of calories as jogging or running. So it is useful for helping with weight loss.'

And, he adds: 'Because it is low impact, it does not have the same potential for injury as jogging. Yet it can offer all the benefits.'

Marcus Davis, an osteopath with the Harley Street Back Centre in London, agrees. He says: 'Walking helps to drain the lower legs of excess fluid and can help prevent varicose veins through the pumping action of the calf muscles.

'The increased supply of oxygen exercise promotes also gets rid of the waste products in the tissues.

'And because more people are able to walk at a consistent speed than run, it is a more beneficial form of tissue-cleansing, particularly for the over-50s, for whom jogging can actually cause more problems.'

'Walking is also better for the spine than running, as it puts less stress on the discs. Yet we were designed for constant movement, not sitting in cars or in front of computers, which causes negative pressures on our spinal cord.

'Regular walking is excellent for spinal discs, which receive minerals and vitamins through the pumping action it causes.

'And the best thing is that you can see results from walking reasonably quickly - although it depends on each person's individual level of fitness, age and how often and fast they are walking.'

by ROBINA DAM, Daily Mail



Diana K. Blythe, MD

Walking can be great aerobic exercise. If you make sure to maintain a brisk enough pace to breathe a little harder than normal and feel a light sweat, you are doing aerobic exercise. 

In addition, walking is not a high impact exercise and you should be able to walk as your exercise even as age makes other activities more difficult. All you need is a pair of exercise shoes and a positive attitude.

JC Pinzon

Yes. Walking is a great exercise for your heart. Consider wearing a heart rate monitor so you can keep track of your heart rate. An ideal heart rate should be between 60 to 80% of your maximum heart rate. Walking up the hill and/or increasing speed will get your heart rate up to a desired level. Start with small distances and increase gradually as you get better.

It sure is!  Aerobic, by definition means, "activities requiring oxygen." Walking can be a great aerobic activity, improving cardiovascular health safely. Over time, increase the time you walk or the pace you walk to challenge yourself.  Walking is a great way to condition, so get out there and get going. 

Walking is a great aerobic exercise. You can change the intensity of your walk by walking up hills or by walking a little faster. The biggest thing is to be consistent in your aerobic training. Remember, your heart never takes a day off so continue to train it daily!

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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.