Walking for an hour a day benefits your life in several ways, but is it a good idea? Should you find a spare hour to go for a long walk? Let’s see if it’s worth it.
Why walking an hour a day should be a goal
First, let’s break down some basics. For most people, an hour of walking is between 2.5 and 3.5 miles covered. Walking that far will get you between 3000 and 5000 steps, which when combined with your normal daily activity, should get you to the actual level of healthy daily steps which is 6000 or so.
Now, those steps definitely aren’t the only, much less the greatest plus about walking that hour. Every walk is healthy, but walks of at least 20 minutes tend to garner the best rewards for people. Going longer than that simply multiplies those body benefits.
Better for health
Longer walks are overall more beneficial than shorter jaunts. Even if it’s a power walk for 10 minutes a 30-minute moderate walk is giving you more bang for your buck. It really is a lot to do about the time you put in rather than just the effort. For optimum health benefit with walking as your primary exercise you should aim for at least 150 minutes a week. Now, that can be 3 short walks and 2 medium and 1 long or any other combination, but getting to that number or higher every week is what will get you the overall better health results.
Longer walks are great for the following:
- Lowering risks of heart attack and stroke
- Lowering risks of diabetes or diabetes related conditions
- Lowering negativity and depression symptoms
- Raising Serotonin levels which can make you feel great and crave less sugar
- Raising blood circulation which helps your immune system perform better
- Raising endurance and energy levels
How to fit an hour of walking in your schedule
It can definitely be complicated adjusting schedules, especially if your busy already. I personally don’t think you need to fit in your every day schedule. After all, your aiming for at least 150 minutes a week. An hour every day is 420 minutes a week. So, let’s see how we can go about fitting 2 or 3 one hour walks in your week.
We’ll start by saying you walk 6 days a week. You can pick any day you want to take off. You can also choose to do longer walks concurrently or separated. Here’s a sample you could try or modify to your liking.
- Monday :15 minutes
- Tuesday :60 minutes
- Wednesday :off
- Thursday :60
- Friday :20 minutes
- Saturday :30 minutes
- Sunday :60 minutes
This schedule would give you 245 minutes a week, well over the recommended minimum but not taking huge slots of your schedule every day. You could easily lose one of those 60s and still be over the minimum.
Is it really necessary or worth it?
So, should you really try to fit an hour in sometimes? I truly think it is worth it for me. Like most things, it’s about what’s important to you. Fitting 60 minute walks in your schedule, even occasionally, may force you to give up other things that are important to you. You never want to resent your workout time. Exercise is important for your health, but so is many other things in your life.
If you want to start it but aren’t sure, try adding it just one day a week for a month and see how it works out for you. You can always ditch it or increase it afterward.
Is 60 minute walks in your future?
Since I walk as errands fairly often, it’s not unusual for me to walk an hour without really trying. I enjoy the longer walks as I feel I accomplish more with them. I hope you will give them a try.
Can’t wait to see you strolling along,