Getting accustomed to the new normal has been quite the task for many of us. To protect ourselves and others, we have to wear a mask every time we go out. We have to maintain social distancing whenever we go to places where there are people around us. Most importantly, we have to sanitize our hands and wash them for at least 20 seconds each time we come in contact with any object. Taking these precautions is the only way we can protect ourselves from the virus and other infections.
Amidst all that, we should also keep a check on our health. As we change and adapt to a different lifestyle, we should also ensure we are eating right and exercising. Healthy eating and 15-30 minutes of exercise allow our body and mind to stay balanced and keep fit.
One of the easiest ways to exercise is to walk. While it may sound easy to gain maximum benefits, you should practice doing a brisk walk. Brisk walking is an exercise that improves your cardiovascular health and mental health as well. Not to mention, it also caters to your fitness goals. And, brisk walking is one such exercise that one can practice indoors and outdoors!
What Is Brisk Walking?
Brisk walking is a moderately intense aerobic activity that increases heart rate and causes sweating. Generally speaking, a person must walk at a speed of no more than 4.5 mph to be brisk. One should try to walk briskly for at least 30 minutes each day.
11 Benefits Of Brisk Walking
When done consistently, the advantages of brisk walking exercise are many. Numerous benefits of brisk walking may be obtained with just 30 minutes per day of exercise. Below mentioned are the 11 best brisk walking benefits:-
1. Maintaining a healthy weight or lose weight
Brisk walking can help you lose excess weight as it burns more calories, thereby helping you to burn body fat. It also boosts your metabolism and increases your lean muscle mass. If your goal is to lose belly fat, you can walk at a steady speed with faster steps; this makes your heart beat faster and makes you breathe harder. This method gets you in the fat-burning zone and helps you rapidly lose the calories you consumed.
2. Strengthening bone muscles and joints
Practicing brisk walking as a daily exercise routine builds muscle strength and endurance. After a certain age, your bones and joints start to degenerate. The best way to prevent that is by ensuring you work on strengthening your joints. Strengthen your bones by brisk walking regularly.
If you are susceptible to chronic back pain, brisk walking can help provide a certain amount of relief from the pain. Conscious walking helps in increasing blood circulation, thereby enabling flexibility around your lower back.
Your legs also gain strength as you build muscle and endurance by brisk walking regularly. If you are facing issues with moving around due to stiff joints, actively walking for 20-30 minutes can help loosen you’re your muscles surrounding the joints. It can also help prevent bone diseases like osteoporosis.
3. Improving Cardiovascular Health
Studies show that walking 5-days a week can help lower the risk of heart disease. It can help improve the health of your heart. Brisk walking enhances the health of your cardiovascular system. It has an array of benefits, such as:
Lower blood pressure.
Better blood circulation
Better oxygen circulation
Maintains cholesterol balance
Lower blood sugar
Brisk walking regularly has the benefit of increasing your insulin sensitivity. The cells in your muscles can function better to gain glucose from energy. It also has the added benefit of preventing or managing various conditions which include heart diseases, and diabetes.
4. Improving Mental Health
The lockdown has affected our mental health in more ways than one. One way to maintain positivity through these trying times is to a brisk walk. Studies show that people who walk regularly experience elevated moods. It helps you feel more relaxed. If there are relaxations around your place of residence and citizens are allowed to move freely, you can go choose to walk on a path that surrounds nature. Don’t forget to cover your face and maintain distance between other individuals. Being around nature can help bring down the cortisol levels in your brain that is the root cause of stress and anxiety.
Brisk walking can also bring your mind into a calm state by stimulating nerve cells. Brisk walking encourages the production of endorphins. A quick brisk walk during the day can help you feel more energized during the day.
5. Better Metabolism
The right way of practicing brisk walking is by increasing your pace as you walk. As you walk, your body requires more energy. Walking at a quicker pace increases your body’s metabolism and helps your body utilize strength efficiently. If your goal is to lose belly fat, faster metabolism also helps you to lose belly fat.
It also stimulates digestion in your body. Regular brisk walking can help with the breakdown of your food. It helps to digest properly instead of retaining fats. It increases the movement of food through your body.
6. Balancing Blood Sugar Levels
Going for a brisk walk after you have consumed food has proven to lower glucose levels in your blood. Too much blood sugar can lead to unnecessary weight gain. Regular walks prevent you from blood sugar related issues such as type-2 diabetes.
7. Helps To Balance Hormones
Hormonal health may be greatly influenced by taking regular breaks from work and other activities to indulge in physical invigoration. In addition to lowering stress hormones like cortisol levels in the body, brisk walking also releases endorphins, which work with pain receptors in the brain to lessen the sense of discomfort. Like morphine, endorphins cause a good feeling in the body. It can also relieve health problems brought on by hormonal imbalances, such as PCOD.
8. Does Not Require Any Equipment, Just Will power
One of the easiest exercises to permanently introduce to your fitness programme is brisk walking. Depending on personal taste, it takes little to no equipment and doesn't demand as much dedication as, say, a gym. A fruitful session can be had in almost any place. You may also keep things fresh by experimenting with various routes or terrains.
9. Boosts Overall Health
The advantages of brisk walking for your health are enormous. Regular exercise directly correlates with lower blood pressure and better cardiovascular health. Because it improves insulin sensitivity, brisk walking benefits in preventing conditions like diabetes. Your muscles' cells can work more effectively when they receive glucose from energy.
Other benefits of brisk walking include reduced blood pressure, improved blood flow and oxygenation, stronger organs, balanced cholesterol and blood sugar levels, decreased risk of some malignancies and bone illnesses like osteoporosis, and much more.
10. Gives An Active Start To The Day
Going for a walk in the morning might offer you greater energy all day. Additionally, one must deliberately decide to work out before every session. When more people repeatedly choose that course of action, it strengthens their commitment to themselves.
They would begin making better decisions for the remainder of their day, such as choosing fruit as a snack or taking the stairs a few levels instead of the elevator, with or without the realisation hitting them. A brisk walk makes an individual feel more energised, which reduces the likelihood of cravings.
11. Strengthens The Immune System
Brisk walking benefits your immune system because they encourage immune cells to function well by boosting blood flow, lowering stress and inflammation, and fortifying antibodies. The immune system's white blood cells may more easily circulate throughout the body while the blood is moving, which is made possible by frequent walking or bicycling. Making it a habit to walk briskly for 30 minutes each day will decrease inflammation and promote normal immune cell renewal.
Note that these benefits can only be acquired if you maintain a healthy diet and add more exercises to your routine so that it doesn’t feel repetitive. Brisk walk properly – keep a check on the number of steps per minute. Increase your pace gradually. Keep your heart rate in check as well. Learn how you can brisk walk indoors as going out for longer hours is not recommended, given the current situation. If you do, ensure you do not go to crowded places. Be safe, be healthy
What Is The Average Brisk Walking Speed?
According to one research, persons under 60 need to maintain a brisk walking speed of at least 100 steps per minute to be considered moderately active (about 3 mph).
You might not be in a moderate-intensity workout zone at a 3 mph speed if you already have a high degree of fitness. To enter the zone, you'll probably need to walk at a brisk walking pace of 4 mph (a mile in 15 minutes or less).
At 5 mph brisk walking speed, you will be walking relatively quickly for the majority of people. So, you must target a brisk walking pace of 4 to 5 mph to cover a mile in 15 minutes.
Average Walking Speed by Age and Sex
Miles Per Hour (MPH), Females
Miles Per Hour (MPH), Males
6 Common Mistakes To Avoid While Walking Briskly
1. You're Not Walking At The Proper Pace
Your speed is the first thing to think about during brisk walking. The CDC recommends 100 steps per minute for brisk walking. However, if you go beyond this, you are unquestionably doing it incorrectly.
2. Your Hands Shouldn't Cross Your Body's Midline
You may have observed that as you walk, your arms either swing across your body in front of you or go up to your chest. This is not the proper way to brisk walk since it will not enable you to walk faster. Swing your arms while maintaining a 90-degree elbow bend, and keep your hands relaxed.
3. Avoid Bending Your Waist
You may be bending your waist side to side without exerting any energy. It typically occurs when you desire to sprint. But you can't do it while you're walking quickly. Your waist must be under your control so that it cannot shift in any direction.
4. You Have A Stiff Shoulder
Your neck, waist, back, and shoulders may get strained if you are gazing down while your shoulders are tensed or tilted forward. As you walk and gaze forward, your shoulder should be relaxed to prevent neck strain.
5. Avoid Rounding Your Back
While walking, you should maintain a straight back. Instead of bending your spine as you walk, concentrate on stretching it. Maintain a straight back and prevent slouching, hunching, or slumping forward.
6. Be Careful Of The Leg Motion
Well, when it comes to walking, feet are everything! You should push through the balls of your feet when you walk quickly, rolling off your feet in the direction of your toes. Keep your thigh flexed at the hip as you lift your leg forward.
Brisk Walking vs Running: Which Is Better?
There are some significant distinctions between brisk walking vs running as mentioned below:-
A simple, normal, leisurely walk
Walking for 30 minutes at a speed of 3.5 miles per hour burns roughly 156 calories for a 160-pound individual
For the same duration, running at 6 mph burns roughly 356 calories
Low, as when you walk, you always have one foot on the ground
High, as every step you take when running is in the air. Your body takes on the equivalent of three times your body weight of impact each time you land.
Risk of injury
Many ways of walking briskly, even for just 10 minutes at a time, may improve your health and wellbeing. A brisk walk can enhance the health of your heart and lungs by increasing blood flow. Additionally, it can assist you in managing your weight and reduce your risk for a variety of diseases.
Brisk walking exercise can also enhance your memory, increase your energy, lower your stress level, and enhance your sleep. Before beginning a new workout regimen, it is important to discuss any health issues or injuries with your doctor.
Frequently Asked Questions
How many calories are burned in brisk walking?
Walking briskly is an excellent way to lose weight and improve health. To those who wonder about how many calories are burnt during this activity, well there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. It depends on multiple factors, however, in general walking at a brisk pace often results in an hourly calorie burn of between 240 and 723.
Can brisk walking exercise help to lose weight?
Walking is a good example of a physical activity that is beneficial for weight management since it helps you burn calories. You may burn an extra 150 calories each day if you add 30 minutes of vigorous walking to your regular schedule. Of course, you'll burn more calories if you walk more frequently and at a faster speed.