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The most underrated exercise

There are a plethora of exercises out there. Nowadays you will see different influencers and media platforms promote and share different forms of exercises, from your spin classes to fancy gym exercises. All exercises are good it just depends which one is the most suitable for you. Sometimes all these fancy exercises with complicated set ups and equipment may seem daunting to some. As an athlete and physiotherapist myself, I tell my clients that the best exercise is the one that both suits your needs and one that you enjoy. The exercise that you continue to do and progress in is the best exercise for you.

The exercise that I find the most underrated is one that everyone can do, bar a few exceptions. It's so simple and readily incorporable into your daily lives. Anyone can do it anywhere without any fancy equipment. All you have to do is, put on a comfy pair of shoes and just walk. Yes, the most underrated exercise is walking! Yes, I know it sounds boring and unassuming but that doesn't mean it's not an effective exercise and if you have the slightest bit of inertia towards your fitness goals then the simplest and most convenient exercise is best for you.

The health benefits of walking are many. It improves your leg strength, your cardiovascular health and even your brain function! Additionally, its great for weight loss. Running a 6.2min/km burns a 190kcal while an 11.2min/km walk burns 111kcal. Walking for an hour would then burn roughly around 350kcal. If you do that 3 times a week, that would be a total of more than 1000kcal burned just from walking. To put that into context, 1000kcal is 2 McSpicys! So yes, walking is simple but effective. Furthermore, you can customize it to make it harder or easier for you. If you feel like you are having a lazy day, walk slower. If you feel like working harder, walk faster or walk on an upslope.

If you've made it this far in the post, thanks for sticking around. Even till now, some of you may be thinking: "Wow, walking 3 hours a week is pretty time consuming and daunting". Well, don't think too much and do me a favour and pull out your phone to see how many steps you are currently taking a day. Let's say you have 2000 average daily steps. Just add 1000 daily steps every week. So the second week you will have an average of 3000 daily steps. Continue adding 1000 daily steps for 5 more weeks and you will have an average of 8000 daily steps. An average of 8000 daily steps is roughly 30 minutes of walking! So in fact, if you start now, in 1.5 months time you would have been walking for 210 minutes a week and are well on route to your fitness goals! So what are you waiting for? Start walking :)



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Murtagh, E. M., Murphy, M. H., & Boone-Heinonen, J. (2010). Walking–the first steps in cardiovascular disease prevention. Current opinion in cardiology, 25(5), 490.

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Scherder, E., Scherder, R., Verburgh, L., Königs, M., Blom, M., Kramer, A. F., & Eggermont, L. (2014). Executive functions of sedentary elderly may benefit from walking: a systematic review and meta-analysis. The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 22(8), 782-791.

Tudor-Locke, C., Leonardi, C., Johnson, W. D., Katzmarzyk, P. T., & Church, T. S. (2011). Accelerometer steps/day translation of moderate-to-vigorous activity. Preventive medicine, 53(1-2), 31-33.

















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