Have you yet to seriously jump on the exercise bandwagon? We’ve all been there. We’re full of positive intent and energy to kick-start our carefully constructed gym routines, only for our enthusiasm to wane when the time to renew our membership draws near. However, regardless of how frequently you may visit your local gym – or if you do at all – the important thing is that you get some exercise. It’s beneficial for your body and mental wellbeing and makes you feel good too. The good news is that a brisk walk may be the best option of all, according to a new survey.
Researchers from the London School of Economics and Political Science found that walkers tended to be fitter and slimmer than gym-goers. In an analysis of 50,000 people between 1999 and 2012 over the age of 13, those who did at least 30 minutes of brisk walking per day were more likely to have smaller waistlines and lower BMIs than people who did high-intensity workouts.
“We think it is because walking is more convenient than the gym and is easier for people to maintain,” said Dr. Grace Lordan, one of the study’s lead authors.
This is positive news as walking is indeed an easy to adopt, low-impact exercise that can be adjusted to suit an individual’s physical condition. And of course, it’s free and can be done virtually anywhere.
She added that this was especially true for older people who can adapt to walking easier than they can with higher impact routines typically performed at the gym.
“The results thus provide an argument for a campaign to promote walking,” Lordan continued. “A simple policy that “every step counts” may be a step towards curbing the upward trend in obesity rates and beneficial for other health conditions.”
It’s important to note however that this latest study is correlational, meaning people who reported walking tended to be thinner, but researchers don’t know if walking itself caused this outcome. In other words, if a gym routine and kickboxing or perhaps yoga is your thing keep, it up, and if you’ve yet to get yourself a solid exercise routine, perhaps it’s time to lace up those walking shoes.
Read more on the study here