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How walking can help you reach your fitness goals

June 14, 2023 tiffaniewoods

How walking can help you reach your fitness goals

June 14, 2023 Tiffanie Woods

Getting into fitness, whether it’s your first time actively making this choice or you’re coming back from a long hiatus, can cause unnecessary stress. Thinking about how you look, if you’re not as fit as you once were thought you were, or just the reality of starting anew can be enough to make anyone nervous. Working out also has become incredibly confusing with so many different fitness classes, apps, and trending workouts to try. That’s why walking is a great low-stakes, free, and easy (depending on your abilities) way to help you reach your fitness goals. Just 30 minutes of brisk walking a day can have life-changing effects on your health and kick-start your fitness journey.

According to an article from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, half an hour  of brisk walking “offered similar benefits as higher-intensity running in reducing the risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.” As an avid spinner, I’ve been shocked to see how the calories I burn during a 45-minute spin class is the same or only slightly higher than that of a 45-minute brisk walk.

 Walking also provides a lot of benefits that people dismiss when think of walking as an easy way out, or that unless you’re exerting yourself to a certain point, you’re not really exercising. This is false. Many folks who have started running for weight loss, lowering their risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes have found success when adding at least 30 minutes of brisk walking to their lives.

As with any workout, there are levels to walking as a fitness workout. Everyone should start at the level that feels comfortable for them, one that won’t cause any discomfort or potential injuries. From there, one can determine their pace and level of exertion.

Starting with a brisk 30-minute walk three times a week is a great starting point for those beginners looking to jump-start their fitness routines. For those who are at a more advanced fitness level, starting with a 30-45 minute brisk walk four or five times a week is a great way to progress. As is the case with cardiovascular exercises, the faster the pace, the more of a workout you’re having and higher the benefit when it comes to weight loss and reducing the risk of injury and health concerns. 

In addition to lowering your risk of high blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes; beginning a walking fitness routine has the ability to strengthen your bones, boost muscle power and increase endurance. Walking can be added into your fitness routine, slowly increasing the length of your walks and intensity to ensure you’re improving and continuing to reap the benefits, or it can be a catalyst to other types of workouts. As it’s a great beginner activity and part of an extended fitness routine, you want to keep in mind that our bodies grow accustomed to workouts and need to increase your intensity as your fitness levels improve.

Beginning a walking routine doesn’t just have to look like taking a walk around your neighborhood. You can bring friends and family along for your walks to make it a more social activity, or join walking clubs/meetups in your city. Still unsure? You can make your walking habits less of a workout by implementing it into your everyday activities. This can look like walking to get coffee in the morning instead of driving, taking the stairs instead of taking the elevator (a tried-and-true recommendation), or getting off public transit one or two stops early and walking the rest of the way. You can also add things like hand weights and walking up hills to your normal walks to continuously push yourself and your stamina.

Now that you have a plan, you can get to it. As always, don’t forget to stretch before and after your walks to avoid injury. Happy walking!

Tiffanie Woods

Tiffanie Woods is a writer and social media strategist. When she’s not curating the perfect playlist, she can be found talking about her affinity for skincare and hanging with her tabby cat Poppy. Connect with Tiffanie on Twitter @tiffromthe6 and read more of her work at

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