“Walking gets the feet moving, the blood moving, the mind moving. And movement is life.” ~ Terri Guillemets
Is Walking One Hour A Day Enough Exercise?
Did you know The Bangles wrote their song “Walk Like an Egyptian” precisely because they were also wondering if walking one hour each day was enough exercise? What a remarkable coincidence.
We’ve discussed the many benefits of walking in What are the Benefits of Walking? Let’s get to it: is walking 1 hour per day enough?
It very well could be!
The answer, of course, depends on each person’s goals.
Is your goal to move more, get outside, and get off the couch more? Is your goal to improve mood, decrease stress, and improve circulation? Are you beginning your health journey or reclaiming your fitness and well-being? Then certainly one hour could be enough. However, it could be too much if you’re recovering from an injury.
Are you training for a marathon? If that’s the case, walking one hour a day may not be enough to prepare for the Boston marathon adequately.
Walking 120 steps per minute at 3 miles per hour corresponds to about 7,200 steps in 60 minutes, which is pretty solid! It is not 10,000 steps (like most suggest), but we discussed why you don’t always have to hit 10,000 steps in the article How Many Steps Should I Walk Each Day?
If your goal is to steadily decrease weight to feel healthier, walking one hour a day can burn between 210 and 360 calories per hour.
Suppose you are managing how and what you eat. You can undoubtedly meet the goal of losing weight with one hour of walking each day.
On recovery days, you may not need to walk as much as you do on heavier workload days.
Workload includes physical workouts you may be doing and things like your actual work, family life, etc. These occupy much of our time, and sometimes we aren’t able to dedicate one hour to walking as we would hope. Therefore, we can only get 30 minutes in, which is still great!
If you can add in different activities or forms of exercise in addition to weekly walking, those are highly encouraged—things like strength training, swimming, biking, etc.
The Deeper Issue - What is Your WHY?
The question is not, “Is walking one hour a day enough exercise?”. Instead, it is “why am I moving today?”
Is your goal to enhance your mood, improve cardiovascular capability, sleep, or lose weight? Those are all good things, but I encourage you to dig deeper.
Do you want to have more energy for your spouse/significant other? Do you want to be able to move more to keep up with the grandkids? Do you want to change the family history of a particular disease?
When we have our “Why” clearly defined, it makes decisions like daily movement more achievable.
My “WHY” is twofold.
The first WHY for me is the cognitive decline and other chronic illness that has impacted my family. I live my life with more balance and try to filter decisions through how this will affect my sleep, my brain, etc.
Second, I have had multiple surgeries that have kept me off my feet for weeks to months. I’ve had to re-learn how to walk a few times, so I do not take the ability to walk or jog for granted. I strive to be active and maintain balance because of how great it feels now that I can (even when it is hard)!
- Walking is an excellent form of exercise. 1-hour of walking each day can be incredibly beneficial for your brain and body, and it can certainly be enough exercise for many people’s health goals.
- Doing other forms of movement is encouraged in addition to walking for exercise. Increasing the fun factor for exercise makes it much more enjoyable.
- What is your Why? Having a solid foundation, guiding light, and true north for our health is incredibly important. Spend some time thinking this week about this for yourself. Make it something profound that connects to your core and gets you out of bed!
Next “Steps” In Your Movement Journey
For further insight on walking, check out our articles:
If you want to learn more about how Tiger Medical could help you develop an exercise program custom-tailored to your genetic makeup, click here to book a call and get started today.