Does Walking Count as Exercise?

As busy moms, finding the time and energy to exercise can feel like an impossible task. Between juggling kids, work, and household duties, the idea of hitting the gym for an intense workout can be overwhelming. But here’s some good news: walking counts as exercise, and it’s one of the most underrated forms of movement out there.

The Underrated Benefits of Walking

Walking, especially at a brisk pace, is a fantastic way to get moving and stay active. It’s often overlooked because it might not seem as intense as other forms of exercise, but this is precisely the type of movement our bodies crave. Let’s dive into why walking is so beneficial and why it deserves a spot in your daily routine.

  1. Walking is Gentle on Your Body: Unlike high-intensity workouts that can sometimes lead to burnout or injuries, walking is low-impact and easy on your joints. This makes it a sustainable option for long-term health.
  2. Hormone Harmony: Walking helps balance hormones, particularly for women. It can help lower cortisol levels, the stress hormone that can contribute to weight gain, especially around the midsection. By reducing stress, walking supports better hormonal balance and helps manage weight.
  3. Metabolism Boost: Engaging in regular walking can boost your metabolism. Walking in zone 2 cardio (a brisk pace) optimizes fat burning, making it an effective way to support weight loss.
  4. Supports Mental Health – Walking has profound benefits for mental health. It can reduce anxiety and depression symptoms, boost mood, and improve overall emotional well-being. This is crucial for busy moms who are often managing high stress levels.
  5. Convenient and Free: One of the best things about walking is that it’s free and can be done anywhere. You don’t need special equipment or a gym membership – just a pair of comfortable shoes.

The Science of Walking and Metabolism

When you walk, your body uses stored fat as fuel, especially if you maintain a brisk pace. This type of exercise is known as zone 2 cardio, where your body operates in a fat-burning mode rather than relying on quick-burning carbohydrates. Additionally, walking helps to increase your overall activity level, combating the negative effects of a sedentary lifestyle. Studies have shown that sitting for prolonged periods is as detrimental to your health as smoking. Getting up and moving more throughout the day is essential for long-term health.

How to Incorporate Walking into Your Busy Day

Finding time to walk might seem challenging, but it’s doable with a little creativity. Here are five tips to help you get more steps in:

  1. Walk and Talk: Take your phone calls on the go. Whether it’s a work call or catching up with a friend, walking while talking can easily add steps to your day.
  2. Park Farther Away: When running errands, park your car at the far end of the parking lot. Those extra steps add up quickly.
  3. Family Walks: Incorporate walking into family time. After dinner, take a walk around the neighborhood with your kids. It’s a great way to bond and get some fresh air.
  4. Walking Meetings: If you have the flexibility, suggest walking meetings at work. It’s a productive way to get moving and think creatively.
  5. Set a Timer: Set a timer to remind you to get up and move every hour. Even a five-minute walk around the house or office can make a difference.

While walking is fantastic, it doesn’t replace the need for strength training or more intense forms of exercise. Strength training is essential for building muscle, which in turn boosts your metabolism and helps you burn more calories at rest. However, walking should be a part of your daily movement routine, helping you achieve the recommended 150 minutes of physical activity per week. Breaking this down into 20-minute walks each day can make it more manageable and less overwhelming.

Ready to learn more about how to keep your body in fat-burning mode and achieve your fitness goals? Join my MetaboBliss™ program where I teach science-backed exercises and strategies tailored for busy moms.

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