How can the benefits of walking be maximized?



If you like to walk around every day, you can make the most of the benefits by changing a few habits. Steep paths, alternating brisk and slow walking, 10-minute sessions several times a day... find the technique that works best for you.

Walking regularly helps maintain a stable weight, lower blood pressure and bad cholesterol, reduce glucose levels, improve mood, memory and cognitive function, decrease stress, and increase its lifespan. Numerous studies have shown that this is a beneficial form of exercise from any age.

Although any amount of walking is good for the body, a certain number of kilometres and sustained intensity provide maximum benefits from this activity. The recommended minimum is a moderate-intensity 30-minute walk, five days a week. So here are some tips to get the most out of your daily sessions.
 
Aim for 15,000 steps a day
Walk as much as you can.  According to a study cited by Consumer Reports, the benefits in terms of height, cholesterol, blood pressure and blood glucose control are felt from 15,000 steps per day. The usual goal for people who walk is 10,000 steps a day. But this figure is not the result of scientific research. This first objective is considered a realistic minimum, but for a complete reduction in health risks, it is better to aim higher.

Speed up your walking pace

Another way to better enjoy walking is to move faster. The findings of a 2007 study on this subject show that a faster step yields the same results as a higher number of steps. Try walking at a rate of 100 steps per minute, or simply adopt the fastest pace possible.
 
Spread your effort over the day

Amassing 15,000 steps a day at once is not an easy task when you have a busy schedule. The solution: aim for several walking moments. If you can walk for about 10 minutes at a fast pace, several times a day, you reduce the amount of time you spend sitting or standing, and improve your cardiovascular health.
 
Split your walking session
Instead of doing a full 30-minute walk at the same moderate pace, try high-intensity interval training. Alternate about 30 seconds to a minute of brisk walking, with one to two minutes of recovery at a slower pace.
 
Opt for sloping courses
Don't have time to walk as much as you like? Choose a path with vertical drop. When you increase the intensity of your walk by climbing a steep hill, you get an equivalent result, in half the time.

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