Walking is a great way to get the exercise needed to maintain a healthy lifestyle. It’s low impact, has almost no additional costs associated with it, allows you to get outside and is a great social activity. A new systematic review put out by the British Journal of Sports Medicine has found that walking interventions will improve your cardiovascular health and reduce several cardiovascular disease risk factors including body mass, BMI, body fat, blood pressure, and fasting glucose levels. With cardiovascular disease on the rise and one of the main causes of morbidity in Canadians, walking can be a great way to reduce these risk factors and put you back on the path towards a healthy life. Here are some tips that can help you get you moving:
- The Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology recommends at least 150 minutes (2.5hrs) of moderate to vigorous activity per week, which includes brisk walking
- Using a pedometer can help you track your steps, for reference 30 minutes of brisk walking is typically the equivalent of around 4000 steps
- Finding a walking partner or walking group is a great way to stay motivated
- Be safe: know your surrounding and carry a cell phone with you for emergencies
- Staying hydrated before, during, and after your activity will prevent dehydration and cramping
If you are looking into starting a walking routine but have questions about what’s appropriate for you, or if you are experiencing pain while walking, don’t get discouraged! At Peak Form Physiotherapy, we can help get you walking pain-free.
- Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology (2011). Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines For Adults. Available online: http://www.csep.ca/CMFiles/Guidelines/CSEP_PAGuidelines_adults_en.pdf. Accessed October 28, 2014.
- Oja P, Kelly P, Murtagh EM, et al. Effects of frequency, intensity, duration and volume of walking interventions on CVD risk factors: a systematic review and meta-regression analysis of randomised controlled trials among inactive healthy adults Br J Sports Med 2018;52:769-775.