Walking keeps you fit. It’s good for health. And it can even help you lose weight. It is also one of the best measures to prevent disease and, especially, for people recovering from Covid.
Jose Luis Felipe, professor and researcher at the European University School of Physical Activity and Sports Sciences, and Maria Jesus Marin, researcher in the IGOID (Research in Organization Management and Sports Facilities) group, tell us Sport and Life, all the benefits of walking.
Walking every day, at a gentle pace, did you lose weight?
Walking at a gentle pace is a mild or moderate type of physical activity, depending on the person doing it. As defined by WHO, physical activity is any movement of the body produced by skeletal muscles, with a consequence of energy consumption.
This includes activities carried out on work, play and travel, household chores and recreational activities. So, gentle walking will be included in this activity. Although it doesn’t require high intensity and speed for its execution, it has quite a lot Healthy gain, at all ages.
Doing physical activity is better than doing nothing, because it will help reduce inactive habits. Including a 30 to 60 minute walk throughout the day will help us easily reach the recommended level of physical activity, improve our energy balance, and therefore, to control weight. Now, if the goal is to lose weight, it is advisable to increase the intensity or time of this activity.
Are ankle weights good for weight loss or more for gaining muscle?
By using ankle weights we add additional value for the work already done. The transfer or lifting of this load, increase our muscle mass in the lower body. The consequence of building more muscle mass is not weight loss, but muscle toning.
Building muscle mass goes hand in hand with losing fat mass (Food plays a fundamental role in this process). The lean body part is called muscle mass or lean mass and includes muscle, water, bones and organs. The more fat mass we have, the greater the metabolic expenditure we will have at rest because the parts of our body burn calories throughout the day so that our bodies work properly.
Therefore uUsing ankle weights will allow us to develop muscle mass and consequently, despite the fact that the loss of fat mass increases, this may or may not be accompanied by weight loss. We have to take into account the type of exercise being performed and, the greater the number of kilos or the greater the number of repetitions, this process will be accelerated.
In this time of pandemic, is it better (if we don’t have time) to go for a walk than to do nothing?
Any amount of physical activity is better than nothing, and more is better. To improve health and well-being, WHO recommends at least 150 to 300 minutes of moderate aerobic activity per week for all adults, and an average of 60 minutes of moderate aerobic physical activity per day for children and adolescents. Walking can be a moderate activity depending on its intensity, and taking into account all physical activity, we should integrate walking at work, in sports and recreational activities or while on the move, as well as in everyday tasks. and domestic.
So, walking will help us to reduce a sedentary lifestyle, and this causes a decrease risk of heart disease, cancer and type 2 diabetes. We can conclude that by limiting the time we sit and be physically active, practicing activities such as walking is good for your health.
How positive is it for those who have coped with COVID, walking every day?
The consequences of suffering from COVID varies depending on the person who experiences it. Those with few symptoms do not usually report consequences at the functional level. However, a minority of infected people maintain symptoms for more than 4 weeks after infection has passed. One of the symptoms most often encountered after transmitting the virus is excessive fatigue while carrying out daily activities that were previously normal for them.
In this situation, It is advisable to start a physical exercise program gradually. The Spanish Society of Pulmonology and Thoracic Surgery recommends a therapeutic exercise program based on strength resistance training with elastic bands or weights, among other things, and aerobic endurance, such as walking, progressively.
The benefits of incorporating walking into our daily lives after COVID has ended are numerous. This will help us to increase the body’s defenses physical exercise acts as an immune protector and, in addition, to control body weight and reduce a sedentary lifestyle, thereby helping to reduce all the ailments associated with it.
Besides that, it will increase our lung and cardiovascular capacity, this is a previous step to be able to perform activities with greater intensity in the future. Lastly, it will improve our mood, because exercise contributes to the release of dopamine during practice.
Can you say that walking prevents disease?
Yes, in addition to all the benefits previously described, walking will improve the condition of our muscles and cardiorespiratory, bone and functional health, reduce the risk of suffering from hypertension, coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes, depression or some types of cancer, and reduce these risks. from falls and from fractures of the spine or hip. Finally, this will balance the body’s energy and help control body weight (WHO, 2020).
If we want to lose weight, do we start by walking or with other activities?
The ideal for true and healthy weight loss is to do it progressively, and includes strength training and aerobic training. Strength training increases your resting metabolic output, that is, speeds up your metabolism, and it contributes to greater weight loss.
Besides that, aerobic exercise, such as walking, Will increase our heart rate and with it, our energy expenditure. However, the intensity of this activity must be higher if our goal is to lose weight. For beginners, I would choose to combine strength training and walking as an aerobic activity, gradually increasing the intensity.
How much weight can you really lose by just walking?
Countless factors are involved in this response. To affirm or give or value would be a big mistake. In each exercise, three elements are involved: the person practicing the activity, the type of activity, and the planning of the activity. No two people react the same way to the same exercises. An individual’s metabolism, the time to exercise, the amount and intensity of this activity, among others, are factors that influence weight loss.
However, all of them can be calculated indirectly, more roughly, and individually if we know certain physiological parameters such as a person’s basal metabolic expenditure per day, as well as the energy consumption of the activities they perform.