Celebrate National Walking Day with iFit Walks Around the World!
In day-to-day life, walking is often seen as a passive form of getting from place to place. Considering past centuries, it is apparent that we are simply not moving as frequently as our ancestors. With convenience at an all-time high, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re more likely to be sedentary. Scientifically, humans are not designed for extended periods of sitting! That is why it is so crucial to get moving every day.
Luckily, daily movement doesn’t need to be complicated. You don’t necessarily need to log a tough HIIT workout or high-speed bike ride to check off on the day’s movement goal. In fact, you may be surprised by the number of benefits that can be found in just walking. This simple act of putting one foot in front of the other can be a catalyst for better long-term health.
The importance of movement
In 2011, neuroscientist Daniel Wolpert gave a TEDTalk highlighting the incredible nature of the brain, which exists as the sole actor in controlling movement. “We have a brain for one reason and one reason only,” says Wolpert, “and that’s to produce adaptable and complex movements.” For instance, speaking, reading, and writing are all forms of movement that affect the world around us. Through movement, we’re able to process our surroundings and make future decisions based on those observations. One of the greatest and most underrated ways to move our bodies is through walking.
Incorporating daily walks into your routine can seriously boost your physical and mental health. You might ask, “How much should I move on a daily basis?” On average, Americans clock about 3,000 to 4,000 steps a day (which is around 1.5 to 2 miles). The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends that adults should aim for around 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity exercise. That is about 30 minutes a day, five days each week. It doesn’t take much to hit this goal of 150 minutes with walking alone! Thirty-minute walks at a quickened pace will elevate your heart rate and get your muscles working. This type of pace will help you feel like your walk is more like a cardio workout than a casual stroll. Getting into the routine of walking will give you the opportunity to improve your body and mind.
The health benefits of daily walks
Have you ever wondered why going for a walk has helped clear your mind? Walking triggers your body into action, contracting muscles, increasing respiration, and releasing hormones. As you may have guessed, one of those hormones is the feel-good neurotransmitter serotonin. With aerobic exercise like brisk walking, serotonin is released, which naturally improves your mood and can aid in your overall well-being. Walking for moderate exercise also offers many other health benefits outside of feeling clear-minded and ready to take on the rest of your day.
While we love how movement changes our bodies on the outside, the internal health benefits of walking are what make it such a useful way to move. Engaging in brisk walks can reduce your risk of heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, cholesterol, vascular stiffness, and mental stress. Walking can also help strengthen your bones and muscles, as well as facilitate healthy weight, balance, and coordination. A 2017 study published in the International Journal of Obesity found that those who took 15,000 or more steps per day were more likely to have normal, healthy BMIs and a lower risk of coronary heart disease than those who were more sedentary. Requiring no advanced skill, walking is the perfect form of moderate-intensity exercise for people of all ages!
Walking workouts with iFit
One of the best ways to integrate walking into your daily routine is by having a workout partner to encourage you. That’s where we come in! iFit’s walking workout programs offer the schematics for success, helping you reach your health goals through engaging online walking classes in unique locations from around the world. With each workout, you can track your progress to ensure you’re getting the very best results from your daily walks with our personal trainers.
No matter where you’d like to go, we have the perfect walking workout for you in our massive Fitness Library. From France and Japan to New York City and Hawaii, we offer a huge variety of interactive walking workouts that will take you on exciting adventures every day of the week. Try a few of these phenomenal walking workout classes to see just how easy it is to get moving!
Whether you enjoy these walking workouts for warmups, recovery, or as your primary cardio workouts, you’ll love walking alongside our iFit Trainers and Guides in stunning locations. Sign up for iFit and get going on some of our incredible walking workouts around the world!