5 Questions About the Health Benefits of Walking, AnsweredJan. 24, 2022 - Katie McCallum
It's no secret that walking comes with benefits. After taking a walk, your mood and energy levels are improved. You may even notice that your knee pain, hip pain or some other type of joint pain isn't as noticeable as it was before.
Still, you may wonder about the actual health benefits of walking. Can it improve your cardiovascular fitness and aid in weight loss like running can?
"Walking can offer similar benefits to running, but it is a lower intensity exercise so it depends on what your goal is and what you're trying to accomplish," says Dawn Stuckey, certified athletic trainer at Houston Methodist. "The CDC recommends about 150 minutes a week of exercise, so I encourage you to get out — walk your pet or take a stroll with your family — and get moving."
Plus, aside from helping you hit your exercise goal, walking may also help improve cholesterol and blood pressure levels, slow osteoporosis and cognitive decline, and reduce inflammation and the risk of developing certain chronic health conditions.
If you're looking to reap the full health benefits of walking, you probably still have some questions, though — such as whether it's better to walk longer versus further, as well as what walking shoes are best for a long walk. (Related: How to Pick the Best Walking Shoe for You)
In the video above, Stuckey answers common questions about walking, including:
- Walking vs. running: which is best?
- Does walking burn fat?
- How many calories do you burn while walking?
- What are the best shoes for walking?
- How much should you walk per day?