Walking & health
Walking is not seen by everyone as a sport, but it is perfect for your health, vitality, and mood. If you want to do more sports or lose weight, walking is the way to start without the risk of injury.
If you can move, you can also walk. It costs nothing more than a pair of good (walking) shoes and a bit of time and it never gets boring, because you choose your own route.
What makes walking so healthy?
While walking you strain your lungs to absorb both more and better oxygen. Even if you start with 10 minutes of walking a day, you'll get more energy within a week. Also, your condition, as well as your stamina, will improve after every walk you make.
Research also shows that by walking regularly:
- Your calories will burn and you will lose weight
- You are up to 60% less likely to develop diabetes
- Your blood pressure drops and the risk of cardiovascular disease decreases.
- Your cartilage, bones, and muscles become stronger
- Your memory improves and the risk of diseases such as Alzheimer's decreases by up to 50%.
- Your digestion gets better
Stress, depression, and walking
If you are stressed, suffering from depression or anxiety, a good walk has a beneficial effect. In any case, good health has a positive effect, but more happens during a walk. Because you are on the move, you produce the happiness hormone serotonin. A substance that is also released into your body when you look at something very beautiful. Because you can also come across beautiful things during a walk, your feeling of happiness will increase twice as fast.
Does walking helps to lose weight?
If you walk, you'll burn calories and lose weight. If you walk for an hour, you'll burn about 250 calories. If you don't change your diet, you can lose one kilo per month and 12 kilos per year.
It turns out that people who regularly go for a long walk automatically start to live a healthier life as well. Usually, they will drink more water and eat healthier. Because walking also promotes digestion and sleep, you will lose weight even faster. Better digestion means that you need to eat less to get more vitamins and minerals. A good night's sleep means that your stress hormones are less active, so you burn fat more quickly.
How do you keep walking enjoyable?
There are several ways to ensure that walking remains enjoyable and that can be something different for everyone. The most common ways to keep walking enjoyable and motivating every day are:
A different route every day or every time
By choosing a new walking route every single day, you discover and see something new each time. For example, you can take public transport or the car anywhere you want to go and spontaneously walk somewhere you've never been before. There are also many online walking routes that you can download. On TheONE there are also free walking routes like this one in Budapest.
Walking in a group or as friends
You can join walking groups or associations, but you can also ask friends to join in. If you join a walking group or association, you will regularly meet new people with new inspiring stories.
Hiking with a goal
You can decide to walk every day with a purpose. This can be a long-term goal such as losing weight or vitality and health. It can also be a short term goal such as doing groceries or visiting a friend or acquaintance.
Do you get muscle pain after walking?
If you start walking slowly and on a flat road there is little chance that you will get muscular pain. Good walking shoes and socks also help to prevent muscle pain. If you do get muscle pain, wait at least a day before taking another walk to give your muscles the rest they need to recover.
Muscle pain usually occurs when you have walked too long, too fast or in a hilly area. Always start quietly by building up your walks.
What's better? Walking or the gym?
Walking is the safest way and the cheapest way to stay fit and healthy. That's why many people prefer walking to the gym. In addition, you can start walking as soon as you get out of the door and you don't have to go anywhere first.
Another advantage of walking over the gym is that walking is an endurance sport. Because you walk for half an hour or an hour at a consistent pace, your body can get used to this more easily. This ensures a gradual build-up of your condition and vitality without putting too much strain on your body.
Walking and step counters
According to researchers, it is healthy to make at least 10,000 steps a day. Modern smartphones and smartwatches have built-in step counters to keep track of these steps. This way, you will know every day whether you have achieved your goal.
If you walk an hour a day, you will walk about 5 to 6 kilometers a day. This is an average of between 7,000 and 8,000 steps. With this, you will have reached almost your 10,000 steps per day in one hour.
What is the most amazing walking route?
If you are trained and like a big challenge you can go to Canada for the most amazing walking route in the world called the Trans Canada Trail. This is 400 hiking trails with a total length of 24,000 kilometers. If you walk all the way out, this is equivalent to walking around the world 4 times.
It is estimated that you need 840 days to complete the route. That is 2 years and 4 months. The construction of the Trans Canada Trail started in 1992 and is the largest volunteer project in Canada. While walking you will see all the beauty of Canada. From polar bears to beautiful parks and from rivers to dinosaur skeletons.
Another extraordinary walking route is the Pacific Crest Trail. This walking route is situated between the American borders with Mexico and Canada. The length is 4427 kilometers and it is estimated that you will be walking for 6 months to complete the route.
In 2016 there was a 27-year-old Dentist from Ghent, Belgium, who decided to walk the Pacific Crest Trail a little faster than average. Instead of 6 months, the man named Karel Sabbe had taken less than 2 months. He left the Mexican border and arrived at the Canadian border exactly 52 days, 8 hours and 25 minutes later.
The reason the Belgian walked so fast was very simple: he could not stay away from work any longer. Because the old record was 53 days, he is now the new record holder.