Anyone who doesn’t like rigorous workouts can take a deep breath of relief. Research has found that walking is often just as beneficial a workout (and in a few cases even more). What’s more, to walk, you don’t need to pay gym fees or try to adjust to someone else’s schedule. All you need is a good pair of walking shoes — though sandals or even barefoot at the beach would work — and out the door you go.
It’s easy to forget that walking is actually an aerobic activity. After all, about 7 billion people do it every day. It’s low-impact, simple, natural, accessible, and has many health benefits.
A study from the University of Utah showed that the body may actually be made to walk. Walking is physically easier on the body, but the body still requires to take in more oxygen than in sedentary mode, providing the same benefits as running.
Not even a third of American adults exercise on a regular basis, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Just about 23% meet the federal guidelines for aerobic activity and strength training. But people in some places are less active than others — these are the laziest cities in the U.S.
The rule of thumb is to get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise a week, according to the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. Breaking the numbers down, that’s 30 minutes five days a week. This sounds like a small price to pay if you want to significantly improve both your physical and mental health.
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