When I switched to Keto, the first thing I did was to promise myself to exercise in some way or the other. I was never fond of any kind of physical exercise, so going to the gym was never an option. My workplace is quite far from my home. In the bus, it takes me almost 45 minutes to reach. I decided to walk to office and come back in the bus. At the cost of sounding boastful, we are talking of 3.5 kilometres of brisk walking, through a moderately hilly terrain.
I live in the Himalayas!
And it’s not just a walk, it’s that time of the day which I cherish and look forward to. Over a period of four to five months, I have come to observe so many simple things that give me immense joy. For example, the twin girls who meet me everyday going to school holding hands, not letting go, no matter what. Or the old man who wore the same cap every day and took it off only last week. And the middle-aged lady, who is always so well-dressed and has the most stern expression on her face. These strangers have become my companions, in my journey to discover the healthier me.
I am also sharing the pictures of my way to office with you, so that you can get a better idea and be able to connect to me.
Do you think walking can be compared to a real work out?
I asked myself the same question, when I saw other Keto followers sharing pictures of workouts at the gym with the rest of us. But, all you lazy people like me, you will be surprised to know that walking is as challenging as jogging.
When we walk briskly, we generally walk at a speed that is greater than 3.1 mph (4.99 km/h), and as expected the length of your stride increases.
A longer stride means, greater need for energy in order to move the legs forward. Which also implies that the arm and torso movement will increase and, and there will be greater rotational movement in the torso and hip. At this stage, the aerobic demands will be at their highest, leading to burning of calories.
It has been proven by research, that the highest level of exertion by a walker is only slightly lower than that of a runner. But if you compare the intensity of exercise, the oxygen consumption between the two, that figure is almost equal. The maximum speed that most race walkers reach is generally round 9mph (14.48 km/h).
That should take a load off your shoulders!
How many calories should you expect to burn while walking?
When I started walking, I was really not worried about the steps or the distance, but my main concern was the calories burnt. So when I did some digging, I found out that:
- A 150 pound / 68 kg man will burn 100 calories per mile.
- A 200 pound / 90 kg man will burn 133 calories per mile.
- A 250 pound / 113 kg man will 166 calories per mile.
And just to make it clearer, you burn the same number of calories whether you run or walk. Only in the former you reach faster. A good walking speed is 3 to 4 mph (6.44 km/h), but decide for yourself or consult a professional if you have any physical aliments.
If you thought walking only helps in losing calories, let me tell you that the list of benefits is very long and impressive.
It helps in strengthening your heart.
Walking is known to reduce the risk of heart diseases and strokes. It lowers the bad cholesterol and keeps the pressure in check.
Lowers the risk of getting sick.
If you walk regularly the chances of developing asthma, diabetes will be lowered considerably. And the percentage to which the risk can be reduced is almost 60%.
It will keep your weight in check.
Walking is the best exercise to burn calories. It also helps in increasing the muscle mass and in toning.
Helps in preventing dementia.
Dementia is known to affect one in fourteen people above the age of 65 and one in six over 80. If you walk or exercise regularly, the risk of dementia is reduced by almost 40%. It has been published in various reports that elderly, who walk six miles or more on a weekly basis, avoid their brains from shrinking and have lesser memory loss.
Walking can help in osteoporosis.
Walking stimulates and gives more strength to the bones. Their density increases and it also increases the health of the joints. Decreasing the chances of contracting arthritis.
A brisk walk can tone your bum, tum and legs.
I can tell you this from my experience that after walking to work for four months, my calves are much more defined, my hamstrings and buttock are tighter and my waist is decreasing by the day. And if you swing your arms in the right posture, they automatically get toned.
You get a boost of vitamin D, without having a pill
When you walk in the open, you breathe in the natural and fresh air. The body comes in contact with the sun’s rays and your body gets a chance to boost its store of vitamin D. And we all are aware of how important vitamin D is to keep our bones healthy.
It is your daily boost of energy
Brisk walking might be classified as a work-out. But it is one of the best methods to naturally energize your body. Waking will improve your blood circulation and increase the supply of oxygen to each and every cell of the body. I definitely feel more alert and alive.
I don’t know about you, but it makes me very happy
Any kind of exercise is always a mood booster. Walking is known to work as an anti-depressant in mild cases of depression. The release of endorphins reduces the stress and anxiety. And it can be designed as a social activity, where you can ask your best friend to join you. Walk with her or him, chat and forget all about your worries for some time.
I don’t know where you will plan your walk. But I am blessed to live in an area, which is full of greenery. Tall deodar trees, are lined on both sides of the streets. The road is not very crowded when I walk in the morning. The gentle breeze, seeing other ordinary people like me rushing to work, makes any ordinary day special.