We humans need exercise to stay healthy. Exercise can prevent illness and early death. It also helps to keep the body mobile. Walking is a relaxing and enjoyable form of exercise. But can we get enough exercise just by walking? In response to this question, we consulted five specialists. Among them, four said yes and one said no.
No: Jackson Fyfe, sports scientist
Walking of course is better than not exercising at all. But to maximize health benefits, we need regular aerobic exercise (running, cycling, swimming, etc.) and strength-type exercises (weightlifting, etc.) should be performed regularly. For most people, walking alone is not enough, a combination of medium to high intensity aerobic exercise and strength training should be incorporated into regular exercise program. However, this does not mean that walking is not beneficial, but there are aspects of the health-promoting effects of exercise that walking alone cannot provide.
Yes: Carol Maher, physiotherapist
Exercise is linked to many important health benefits. Walking at a moderate speed (5 km/h) can achieve most of the benefits, especially walking continuously for more than 10 minutes. Of course, the health benefits will be more obvious, if you can combine with higher-intensity exercise (such as brisk walking, climbing).
Yes: Julie Netto, occupational therapy expert
Walking can bring many benefits, can be easily adjusted tailored to personal goals (pace, intensity, and distance, etc). In addition, the use of Nordic can modify the exercise, so that it is no longer limited to lower limb exercises. For convenience purpose, you can walk on a treadmill; if you want to increase diversity and challenge, you can climb hills and walk with weights. Evidence shows that walking is not only good for physical health, but also hold promise in alleviating depression. There are also social supportive aspects of walking, where you could get to know people in your neighborhood or community, especially if you're a dog owner.
Yes: Kevin Netto, biomechanics
If you can walk for half an hour every day and maintain a pace of 4-6 km/h, this is enough exercise. Walking has long-term benefits and can prevent chronic diseases. Compared to other forms of exercise, it has a lower risk of injury. It does not require special equipment,you’re your family, friends, and pets can be included. Walking on a treadmill is sufficient, but it is too boring. You can organize a "walking group" to exercise together in the morning or evening. Outdoor exercise has pollution and climate problems, so you can choose to walk in indoor facilities such as shopping centers.
Yes: Tim Olds, Professor of Health Sciences
You will get there by walking, but running will get you there faster. When walking at a moderate speed, the metabolic rate is three times of the resting metabolic rate; running and sport require much more, typically about seven times. Walking and vigorous sport will reduce the risk of premature death at any age. But if you choose to walk, you need to spend much more time: 1 minute of vigorous sport is equivalent to 3.5 minutes of walking. For example: if you want to reduce the risk of death by 20%, you need to walk for 56 minutes or run for 16 minutes a day.
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