The impact of walking on reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), including heart disease and stroke has been examined in several studies. These have demonstrated that walking can:
1. Reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease by 11 %.
2. Decrease your body weight, BMI, body fat percentage and waist circumference.
3. Lower your blood pressure and increase your aerobic capacity (your body’s ability to transport and use oxygen during exercise) by up to 19 %.
4. Lower levels of the fat that can cause hardening and narrowing of your arteries (triglycerides).
5. Increase your ‘good’ (high density lipoprotein) cholesterol.
6. Increase your muscle endurance.
7. Lead to a longer life – one study showed that walking at least two hours a week reduced the risk of premature death from CVD by about 50 %.
And, here’s the calorie count of what you can achieve by walking for just 30 minutes.
- Someone who weighs 60kg who walks briskly at about 6.4km per hour for half an hour uses up around 150 calories. Great for staying in shape or losing any excess weight.
- Even a stroll at 2mph will burn 75 calories in half an hour. This can be a good start if you’re not used to doing any physical activity.