Forget the workout – try the walkout

The benefits of regular walking are widely known. You’re outside so people can see you exercising and they nod approvingly.

You don’t need your wallet. Big tick.

Walking of course is an excellent alternative to running for those with tender joints or recovering from injury and also for people just not massively into jogging.

However if you’re going to walk, why not try a brisk walk? Going at a rigorous pace for a shorter period of time.

The advantages of this style of walking are fantastic.

Firstly, you save time. A harder-paced brisk walk for 15 minutes will burn as many calories as a more leisurely 45 minutes stroll.

Your heart becomes stronger as it has to work more to sustain the pace. With a faster heart rate comes the good stuff: It can lead to decreased chances of cardiovascular disease, cancers and diabetes.

Stronger aerobic condition leads to more energy throughout the day and a greater feeling of well-being. Yes please.

A doctor has never said, “Sorry, but I’m afraid your heart is too strong.”

A “strong walk” is roughly defined as taking around 100 steps per minute.

In 2018 the University of Sheffield carried out a study comparing the fitness levels of two groups.

One group walked 10,000 steps a day at their own pace.

The other group did brisk 10 minute walks three times a day.

The group walking in short, vigorous bursts were found to have a higher rate of aerobic activity – in other words, more effective exercise.

Not surprisingly, listening to upbeat music while walking can also help to maintain a brisk pace.

Typically any tune around 138 bpm (beats per minute) works well. There are literally thousands to choose from catering for every taste, ranging from K-Pop to Katy Perry to the Stones and the Beastie Boys. Don’t forget that Mozart guy could play some upbeat numbers too, for the brisk walkers in his day.

We’ve all done brisk walking when rushing-but-not-quite-panicking to catch a train or plane. Or at the shopping center when you fear the on sale sneakers might soon be snapped up but breaking into a sprint would be looking a bit desperate.

How about trying this vigorous walking as an actual fun pursuit? Try to pencil in between 2-3 sessions a day, anywhere, anytime.

Got my music, now get out of my way.

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