Health Benefits of Walking + Training Program

benefits to walking

Powerlifter, nutritionist, and trainer with twenty years of experience, Tim Henriques explains the core health benefits of walking and why regular promenades are the best friend of the weight training enthusiast.

10 Basic Health Benefits of Walking

benefits of walking

Source: T NATION | Get Ripped. Get Walking. 

#1. Does Not Overload After Weight Training

Walking, unlike HIIT and other intense cardio, is not particularly stressful. If you add any intervals to the iron, then the beloved organism can quickly overwork. It doesn’t work like that with walking. Of course, you can go too much with it, reaching the split leg (pain in the front surface of the leg after excessive physical exertion), but if you control the intensity and volume and also splurge on normal shoes, then everything should be in order.

#2. Restores After Weight Training

Walking improves circulation, which helps with recovery from strength training and injuries.

It is even rumored that walking helps to optimally align the nerves of the spinal cord in order to conduct their electrical impulses perfectly.

#3. Burns a Lot of Fat, but Not Muscle

Yes, the intensity is low. In 10 minutes, you will not lose weight very much. But if you devote 4-8 hours a week to vigorous uphill walking, the result will pleasantly surprise you.

The main plus of walking is that it does not touch the muscles. Read more about it here – Gain Muscle While Losing Fat. How to Keep Results?

Strength training (and “hard” forms of cardio) requires glucose for fuel, pulling it out of glycogen stores. When you’re in short supply and swinging for muscle support, heavy cardio will only add cortisol to convert amino acids into glucose fuel. And these amino acids are taken from the precious muscles acquired by overwork.

#4. Does Not Damage Muscle Fibers

what are benefits of walking

When walking, type I muscle fibers (slow) work. Interval cardio can also connect fibers of type II (fast), but with side effects – turning them into more aerobic and “slow” type IIa (instead of more “sharp” and powerful IIb and IIx).

To some, of course, 30-second intervals may seem short, but they are long enough for athletes focused on maximizing effort, and their bodies will adapt accordingly.

#5. Improves Fitness and Aerobic Performance

A brisk walk will not turn you into a marathon runner, but it is enough to pump your VO2 max. Going uphill at a speed of 6-7 km / h – without holding onto the handrails – is not as easy as it seems.

If you do this regularly, you can get your VO2 max up to 50+ (more on VO2Max) – more than enough for extended resistance training.

Builders are often criticized for developing only the phosphagenic energy system (high intensity, but short duration); walking helps to master aerobic skills.

#6. Relieves Stress

A walk is ideal for being alone or chatting with loved ones, collecting thoughts, reflecting on your problems (or distracting from them). Usually, after it, you feel better. Life is getting better.

#7. Walking is Functional

Functional training” is, of course, a loose concept, but one of the meanings is an activity that imitates or improves daily life. And walking can be called one of the most functional types of training since the ability to move on foot is critical for everyone.

#8. Not Really, to Put It Mildly, Traumatic

benefits of walking everyday

For most people, walking is easy enough. If you have sore knees or back, a walk will not finish them off. On the contrary, it can improve your well-being.

The biggest mistake on a treadmill is holding onto the handrails, especially when walking uphill. When you lean on the handles and lean back, you are very effective at eliminating the useful tilt as your body is now perpendicular to the track.

#9. For Strength Athletes, Walking Is More Useful Than Running

Of course, running has its merits, but when strength training, it is better to refrain from it. Many athletes find that it becomes more difficult for them to develop maximum and explosive effort when they are fond of running. In addition, the heavier you are, the harder the running hits your body.

#10. Fasted Cardio

Proponents of the fasted cardio claim that the body is simply forced to burn fat since there is not enough carbohydrate fuel. In any case, walking is ideal for training on an empty stomach, as it minimally strains the muscles.

Problems arise only when you try to do interval or other intense cardio workouts on an empty stomach – then the likelihood of muscle loss jumps.

The Only Downside to Walking

benefits of waking up early

You have to walk a lot. Minimum – 3 hours a week, ideal – 6. And at speed I recommend, you are unlikely to be able to read. But you can watch TV shows (on a treadmill, of course, and not on a crowded highway), listen to music and audiobooks, etc.

When to Walk

In general, of course, timing is not very important for the health benefits of walking. If you just want to be healthy, then just walk as much as possible during the day. For weight loss, however, there are a couple of “better” moments:

  • in the morning before breakfast,
  • immediately after strength training.

During these periods, when glycogen stores are depleted, the body will more often get into lipid stores.

How to Walk to Get All the Health Benefits of Walking

Firstly, quickly enough, and secondly – uphill. But with all this, walking remains walking, do not be afraid of muscle-devouring catabolism.

Get All the Health Benefits of Walking

For the health of the cardiovascular system, it is advisable to exercise for 30 minutes or longer. Of course, 15 minutes is better than nothing, but an hour’s walk is even better.

Last warnings (before the walking program):

  • Start easy, don’t rush to jump to a more complex program.
  • If you cannot cope with the load, reduce it by returning to a simpler program.
  • These programs are designed for 4 sessions per week. If you want more often, repeat any of your favorite workouts.
  • Warming up is often not required, but look at your condition.
  • The intensity is scheduled for the treadmill because the speed and incline of the belt can be precisely set.
  • Please note that different training days will vary in speed, incline, and duration. These variations are very beneficial in the long run.
  • Never, never grab a handrail at all.
  • Walking in nature is great, but it is difficult to find a mountain with an even slope. To increase the intensity, take a weight vest/backpack for 5-20 kilograms.
benefits of walking barefoot

Determine Your Level

  • Beginner: 45 minutes difficult at 5.5 km / h and 5% incline
  • Intermediate: master workout for beginners, difficulties arise at 6.5 km / h
  • Experienced: Easily walks 45 minutes at 6.5 km / h at a 5% incline

Entry Level Program For Those Who Want to Get All Health Benefits of Walking

Day 1Day 2Day 3Day 4
Week 13.0@1% 30′3.0@1% 30′3.0@1% 30′3.0@1% 30′
Week 23.1@1% 33′3.1@1.5% 33′3.1@1% 33′3.2@1% 33′
Week 33.2@1.5% 35′3.2@2% 35′3.2@1.5% 35′3.3@1.5% 35′
Week 43.3@1.5% 37′3.3@2.5% 37′3.3@1.5% 37′3.4@1.5% 37′
Week 53.4@2% 39′3.4@3% 39′3.4@2% 39′3.5@2% 39′
Week 63.5@2% 41′3.5@3.5% 41′3.5@2% 41′3.6@2% 41′
Week 73.6@2% 43′3.5@4% 43′3.6@2% 43′3.7@2% 43′
Week 83.7@2% 45′3.5@4.5% 45′3.7@2% 45′3.8@2% 45′

In the ninth week, start the intermediate program. You can train 4 to 6 times a week. If necessary, do cardio twice a day, but no more than 6 per week in total.


Intermediate Program For Those Who Want to Get All the Health Benefits of Walking

 Day 1Day 2Day 3Day 4
Week 13.5@2% 35′3.5@2% 35′3.5@2% 35′3.6@2% 35′
Week 23.6@2.5% 37′3.6@3% 37′3.6@2.5% 37′3.7@2.5% 37′
Week 33.7@3% 40′3.6@4% 40′3.7@3% 40′3.8@3% 40′
Week 43.8@3% 42′3.6@5% 42′3.8@3% 42′3.9@3% 42′
Week 53.9@3% 44′3.6@6% 44′3.9@3% 44′4.0@3% 44′
Week 64.0@3% 45′3.6@7% 45′4.0@3% 45′4.1@3% 45′
Week 74.1@3% 45’+3.6@8% 45’+4.1@3% 45’+4.2@3% 45’+
Week 84.2@3% 45’+3.6@9% 45’+4.2@3% 45’+4.3@3% 45’+

Begin the advanced program in week nine. You can train 4 to 8 times a week (that is, twice a day, but no more than 8 a week in total).


Advanced Workout For Those Who Want to Get All the Health Benefits of Walking

 Day 1Day 2Day 3Day 4
Week 14.2@2% 35′4.0@5% 35′4.2@2% 35′4.3@2% 35′
Week 24.2@2.5% 38′4.0@6% 38′4.2@2.5% 38′4.4@2% 38′
Week 34.3@3% 41′4.0@7% 41′4.3@3% 41′4.5@2% 41′
Week 44.3@3.5% 43′4.0@8% 43′4.3@3.5% 43′4.6@2% 43′
Week 54.4@4% 45′4.0@9% 45′4.4@4% 45′4.6@2% 45′
Week 64.4@4% 45’+4.0@10% 45’+4.0@4% 45’+4.6@2% 45’+
Week 74.5@4.5% 45’+4.0@11% 45’+4.5@4.5% 45’+4.7@2% 45’+
Week 84.5@5% 45’+4.0@12% 45’+4.5@5% 45’+4.7@2% 45’+

Hold 4 to 10 workouts per week (that is, twice a day, but no more than 10 per week in total).


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