Walking for Fitness

Fitness walking has something for everyone, even people who are already fit. Walking is 1 of the safest ways to condition your body aerobically. It can boost energy, help you lose weight, and reduce stress. Doing at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity a week, such as brisk walking, has been shown to lower risk of many chronic diseases. It may be helpful to use a fitness tracker or pedometer to help reach your personal walking goals each week.

Man and woman walking outside.

Physical benefits

  • Brisk walking strengthens your heart, lungs, and bones, and tones your muscles.

  • When walking, your feet land with less impact than in other sports. This reduces chances of muscle, bone, and joint injury.

  • Regular walking improves your cholesterol levels and lowers your risk of heart disease. And it helps you control your blood sugar if you have diabetes.

  • Brisk walking is a weight-bearing activity, which helps maintain bone density. This can help prevent brittle bones (osteoporosis).

Personal rewards

  • Taking walks can help you relax and manage stress. And fitness walking may make you feel better about yourself.

  • Walking can help you sleep better at night and make you less likely to be depressed.

  • Regular walking may help maintain your memory as you get older.

  • Walking is a great way to spend extra time with friends and family members. Be sure to invite your dog along!

Q & A about fitness walking

Q: Will walking keep me fit?

A: Yes. Regular walking at the right pace gives you all the benefits of other aerobic activities, such as jogging and swimming.

Q: Will walking help me lose weight and keep it off?

A: Yes. Per mile, walking can burn as many calories as jogging. Your healthcare provider can help work walking into your weight-loss plan.

Q: Is walking safe for my health?

A: Yes. Walking is safe if you have high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, or other conditions. Talk with your healthcare provider before you start.

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