Among the uber fit, walking is overlooked as a means to improve one’s fitness. I believe that many fitness enthusiasts and the fitness industry perpetuate fitness with diminish returns. In other words, pursuing fitness regiments that fulfill mostly the ego rather than optimal health. According to James O’keefe, “more than an hour of daily vigorous aerobic exercise, produces diminishing returns and may cause adverse cardiovascular effects in some individuals.” Also, according to Dr. Kenneth Cooper “If you’re running more than 15-20 miles a week, you’re doing it for reasons other than to achieve good health”. There are numerous studies which found that a gentler aerobic exercise program is more beneficial longevity and overall health.
Do not misunderstand me! Vigorous, intense, and long lasting exercise sessions do have a place in exercise programs, but it depends on specific goals. If you are motivated by competition, enjoy running, and fulfilled by watching your numbers improve, enjoy? However, there are a certain population that a simply want to improve their health and have no desire to appeal to their ego. Walking should fulfill this populations needs.
In a study published by the Journal Of American College Of Cardiology, O’keefe found that people who run continuously through the week at a faster pace of 7mph have the same risk of death as sedentary individuals. Another study found that those who ran more than 25 miles per week developed no mortality benefits, compared with non runners. Both of theses studies found that a slower pace, such as walking is shown to reduce the risk of death by 25%.
Research at the University of Illinois found that long intense activities can compromise the immune system by increasing levels of inflammatory proteins. These proteins allow viruses to thrive. What about weight loss? Intense bouts of exercise are not linked to weight loss. There are studies that have shown that after one year of aerobic exercise -Days per week, people only lost about 2% of body weight. That number increased dramatically when good nutrition was practiced. An increase of 11% can be expected when good nutrition is balanced with a consistent exercise program. Also, consider that following a bout of intense exercise, people tend to eat enough to replace they burned.
Benefits of walking:
Allow Creative Juices To Flow
Maintain Body Weight
Improve Body Composition
Reduce Your Risk Of Degenerative Diseases
Improve Gastric Motility
Make Other Goals Reachable
Reduced Impact On Joints
It is not about the intensity but the right dosage of exercise and nutrition that should help you improve your health and body composition.
A more gentle but consistent exercise program is optimal for longevity and improved health and fitness.
Vigorous, frequent, and intense workouts can produce diminishing returns, not much different from a sedentary individual.