Walking Workouts: 7 Myths and Facts to Know (Everyday Health)

Posted: Nov 22, 2022 in

This article orginally appeared in Everyday Health on November 22, 2022


There are lots of reasons walking workouts are so popular. Walking boasts all the health and fitness benefits of other low-intensity steady-state cardio (LISS) workouts.

Plus, they’re convenient and accessible. You don’t need a fancy gym or a lot of equipment to walk. Walking workouts are customizable to your personal ability. And they’re good for people of all fitness levels and ages.

TikToker @exactlyliketheothergirls claims to have coined the term “hot girl walk,” which has taken the social media platform by storm. Her January 2021 video shows her weight-loss transformation that she attributes to the “hot girl walk” (which details her playlist and other recommendations). The video was viewed three million times and sparked the trending hashtag #hotgirlwalk (540.3M views) that appears on videos like those from @meeksbruh (16.6M views), @virginiakilmartin (1.6M views), and @nataliexelise (1.6M views).

But are the glories of walking overrated? Here we bust a few myths and back up the cold hard truth about walking as exercise.

5 Reasons Walking Is Good for Your Health

When in doubt, walk it out! Walking is a simple activity that can make all the difference in your health journey.

1. Myth: Walking 10,000 Steps a Day Is Ideal 

Many people use 10,000 steps as a benchmark for a daily goal, but this number actually originated as part of a marketing campaign rather than coming from scientific evidence, explains Amy Bantham, DrPH, CEO and founder of Move to Live More, a health and fitness consulting company. Bantham has conducted research on physician exercise referrals and patient exercise behavior change.

There isn’t yet conclusive scientific evidence showing that this number is the ideal target for better health than a lower daily step count, Bantham says.

One study published earlier this year in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine did show that walking more steps each day was incrementally linked to more benefit when it came to reduction in cancer and heart disease incidence, as well as mortality up to 10,000 daily steps, at which point the benefit leveled off.

Anthony Wall, personal trainer and director of international business development for the American Council on Exercise (ACE), says what is clearer from the research is that more steps are generally linked to more benefit. According to another study, published in JAMA in 2020, people who took 8,000 steps a day had a 50 percent lower risk of dying than those who took only 4,000, for instance. And people who took 12,000 steps had a 65 percent lower risk of dying than those who only took 4,000.

The bottom line is that the jury is still out on an exact minimum number of daily steps that delivers the most benefit. And while step counts are good tangible goals that work for many people, there are other good fitness markers like time and frequency, Wall says.

Read the full aricle here.

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