Walking your way to health.


By Dave Ballentine MChiro

If you want to start regular exercise, then walking is probably not something you would consider as being your first choice? You are maybe planning to join a local gym, go cycling or running, practice Yoga? But walking is one of the easiest exercises you can do right now, which requires very little equipment, you just need some comfortable shoes and to get up and open the door and walk!

Studies have shown walking can help you feel better both physically and mentally. 

Often thought of in the past as too easy to be a meaningful form of exercise, walking has now gained alot more respect as a way of improving overall fitness.

I am sure you have heard the cases of obesity are rising, mainly due to poor diet and lack of physical activity, in the UK in November 2020, a total of 62.8% of adults (over 18yrs old) were overweight or obese (3), walking has been shown to give cardiovascular health benefits, reduce anxiety, reduce tension, reduce blood pressure, help with weight loss, improve cholesterol profile and slow the process of osteoporosis (1)

Walking burns approximately the same amount of calories per mile as running, a fact which could be appealing to those of you who find the thought of jogging or running just too difficult, it just takes a little longer to cover the same distance, but a brisk walk is enough to provide strenuous enough exercise for cardiovascular training in most adults (1).
If you can, then a quicker walking pace will produce more dramatic conditioning results, if you are just starting out then you would benefit from a slower walking pace, then start to increase your speed over time.

Walking at a faster pace will elevate your metabolism for longer, even after you have finished walking, which results in additional calories being burned. One study on people over 50 years old, showed those who walked regularly burned 25% more calories when they increased their walking speed by only 0.5mph (from 3.6mph to 4.1mph). The number of calories burned increases with speed, so if you were able to add another 0.5mph (from 4.1mph to 4.6mph) then the effect would be approx. 32% more calories (2).

In addition to its physical benefits, there is also a substantial psychological benefit to walking, people report feeling better, sleeping better, and have an improvement in their mood.


Therefore, if you have been thinking about walking, or you find yourself sitting now reading this blog on a computer or phone, I hope this will inspire you to get outside and enjoy the great outdoors, the summer will not last forever, so take advantage of the good weather now.

Please make sure you have good walking shoes, if you do suffer with any foot, ankle, knee or hip pain then you should get this checked out, also be sure to build up your distance slowly, if you were training for a marathon then you would not run 26miles on the first day!……it takes time, but I hope you will find that the effort is worth it, a simple walk could change your life forever






  • Walking for health and fitness, J M Rippe1A WardJ P PorcariP S Freedson
  • Cardiocirculatory and metabolic responses at different walking intensities, M Schwarz1, A Urhausen2, L Schwarz1, T Meyer1, W Kindermann1
  • https://www.ethnicity-facts-figures.service.gov.uk/health/diet-and-exercise/overweight-adults/latest
Walking your way to health.

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