It is the ideal exercise to get in shape and stay active to an extent that many maintain that it provides more benefits than running. “Power walking” has become a trend in recent times due to a lot of scientific research that shows the many benefits of walking every day at a fast pace.
That it is possible to lose weight by walking is something that science has shown in many investigations. For example, the University of East Anglia and the Center for Diet and Activity Research analyzed the effect of walking to work on 4,000 adults over 3 consecutive years. The conclusion? That people who did not use the car and walked for more than 30 minutes a day could experience a weight loss of almost 7 kilograms during the time this research lasted. But brisk walking is not the only way to lose weight. And this technique, in addition to burning calories, tones the muscles of the lower body (including the buttocks) and abdomen, lumbar and arms.
In a meta-analysis recently published in the journal Sports Medicine, researchers looked at the results of seven studies that compared the effects on heart health, insulin and blood sugar levels after walking or, conversely, after walking. Through them, they discovered that brisk walking after eating, in increments of two to five minutes, has a significant effect on moderating blood sugar levels.
In five of the studies reviewed in the article, none of the participants had prediabetes or type 2 diabetes. Others see people with and without such diseases. Participants were asked to stand or walk for two to five minutes every 20 to 30 minutes throughout the day.
Overall, research shows that just a few minutes of brisk walking after a meal is enough to improve blood sugar levels compared to, for example, sitting at a desk or lying on the couch. When the participants walked for a short time, their blood sugar levels rose and fell more gradually. For people with diabetes, avoiding sudden changes in blood sugar levels is a critical part of managing their disease. It is also believed that sharp spikes and drops in blood sugar levels may contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes.
This is because brisk walking requires more active muscle engagement than standing and uses fuel from food at a time when there is more circulating in the bloodstream.
Considering these studies, walking half an hour a day and losing weight is possible. In fact, walking every day for 30 minutes is a good exercise to lose those extra kilos but you have to walk at a certain speed, in a certain place and in the right way if you want to achieve your purpose And, without a doubt, Power Walking should be your new workout.
While walking is an effective and inexpensive form of exercise, Power Walking takes this basic movement to a higher level of intensity.
“Power Walking involves walking at a fast pace, swinging your arms, and moving your heels first, then your toes,” says Gretchen Zelek, an AFAA-certified group fitness instructor and power specialist, the Nike. “While regular walking is considered a lower-body activity, Power Walking is a full-body cardio workout that also involves the core.”
In a session of power walking we can burn about 400 calories, in addition to toning the muscles in the central area (abdomen and lumbar) and in the lower part (legs and buttocks). We can increase our flexibility, strengthen our joints and increase our breathing capacity.
Pace and calories. the perfect binomial
But what is the necessary rhythm to lose calories almost without realizing it and gain health? The ideal point is where you seem to run, you notice how your breathing quickens, you sweat and you feel the effort. You can notice it from 6.5 or 7 km / h. ” The ideal is to wear an activity bracelet to control this rhythm. If you don’t have one, speed up your pace until you notice that you’re breathing faster and you’re struggling to carry on a conversation without whispering. If you managed to stay at 7.4 km / h for an hour, scientists at Harvard University estimate that you burn about 377 kcal, although depending on your weight the number may be higher.
Don’t walk for less than 20 minutes, always try to go more than 30 minutes. If you do this 3 times a week, try to reach 50 minutes of walking every day.
In short, a brisk walk, after eating for at least half an hour, is the perfect combination, according to science, to avoid diseases while melting your kilos.
In addition, according to this organization, one of the ways to verify and remove doubt whether you are walking with power or walking passively is to measure your heart rate. When practicing this fast walking, the heart rate should be between 64% and 76% of the maximum, which can be calculated based on age. The way to do this is to subtract one’s age from 220; For example, a 40-year-old man should have 180 beats per minute and when practicing moderate intensity aerobic activity it should be between 115 and 136 beats per minute.
But weight loss is only one of its benefits and, perhaps, the least important. An investigation titled “Walking and hypertension: greater reduction in subjects with higher baseline systolic blood pressure after six months of guided walking,” maintains that an increase in walking speed also produces a reduction in other risk factors for cardiovascular diseases. And even more important: People who practice power walking tend to have a longer life expectancy, according to a study conducted in Mayo Clinic Proceedings.
To find out, researchers analyzed the data and health history of more than 474,900 adults and found that those who regularly walked this brisk walk tended to live 13 to 24 years longer than those who did not. walking at a slow pace, especially at a pace less than. 4.8 km/h.
Walking briskly has also been shown to reduce stress, anxiety and improve sleep quality.