Walk More to Boost Your Metabolism

We know that walking is a rewarding form of exercise. Going for a stroll 30 minutes each day can generate positive changes for both our body and mind, from keeping our vital organs healthy to reducing symptoms of depression. In addition, walking has also proven to be one of the effective exercises to boost your metabolism. In this article we’ll take a look at how this seemingly simple type of workout can help you increase your metabolism and remain in optimal physical shape.

What Exactly Is Metabolism?

Before we can see how walking can improve our metabolism, let’s first see what exactly is it.

Metabolism refers to the sum of biochemical reactions in our bodies that basically convert food and drink into energy. These internal processes are fundamental for a normal functioning of our organisms, maintaining the blood circulation and helping us breathe, digest food, repair cells or regulate body temperature.

The process of converting the food you consume into the energy your body requires does not have the same intensity for everyone. As you may have heard, people can have a slow or fast metabolism. A slow metabolism will prevent you from burning as many calories as needed during rest periods or physical activity. Those excess calories will be stored throughout your body as fat. On the other hand, those who have a fast metabolism will be able to burn calories at a quicker rate.

What influences your metabolic rate? Well, there are multiple factors:

  • Body composition: People with a higher muscle mass will burn calories faster than those with more fatty tissues.
  • Age: As you get older, your metabolism starts slowing down. This is caused by several factors, such as loss of muscle mass or physical inactivity.
  • Gender: Men usually have a faster metabolism than women because they have more muscle mass and less body fat.
  • Exercise: Engaging in physical activity like walking or jogging will accelerate your metabolism and lead to a faster calorie burn.

How Can Walking Increase Metabolism

Walk More to Boost Your Metabolism

One of the natural ways to increase your metabolism is through exercise. This doesn’t mean you need to do deadlifts, push-ups or interval training. No, a low-impact, easy on the joints activity like walking will help you achieve your goal.

Walking is a cardio workout that can aid you burn calories in an efficient way. For example, a 165-pound (75 kg) adult, walking for 30 minutes at a speed of 3.5 mph (5.6 km/h), will lose 150 calories. The key though to obtaining good results lies in your ability to take it up a notch. What does this mean? Well, your metabolic rate will increase proportionally with your personal effort. Adjusting the intensity, speed and inclination of the walk will make your body work harder and increase its demand for energy. This, in return, will boost your metabolism.

Walking can also increase your metabolic rate by helping you suppress your appetite. A 2015 paper found that a 15-minute session of brisk walking can reduce the craving for high-calorie, sugary snacks in overweight people.

The Scientific Proof

The direct relationship between walking and metabolism has been the pivot of many researches across the years. A 2014 cross-sectional study aimed to analyze the impact of walking on the metabolic syndrome (MS). 4151 adults, aged 19-55 years, took part in the program. According to the results, participants who engaged in less physical activity had a higher prevalence of MS. The final data showed that a mild daily walk is an effective way to prevent metabolic syndrome in adult individuals.

In a review published in 2005, Sports Medicine examined the effects of walking uphill on metabolism. The researchers discovered that walking up an incline can increase fat metabolism. They also found out that walking at a low to moderate pace for a longer period of time can boost your metabolism. Another research analyzed the influence of walking on resting metabolic rate (RMR) and body composition in active/sedentary women. The results indicated that women who walked for 9 hours/week were able to maintain a lower body fat and a higher RMR in comparison to those who walked 1 hour/week.

Track How Much You Walk

If you’re walking on a regular basis, it would be a good idea to take advantage of the contemporary technology and start keeping track of your physical activity. Tracking will help you in different ways: it will allow you to see if you’re walking enough to meet the recommended guidelines, it will help you monitor your progress in time, remain motivated to work out and appreciate your fitness achievements.

In order to track your walks you don’t need to buy a smartwatch or fitness tracker. You can just use your iPhone or Android device, which you have on you all the time. All you have to do is download a pedometer app like our own ActivityTracker and you’re all set. The app will automatically record your walks and offer useful data regarding your step count, distance covered, calories burned or active minutes. At the same time you’ll get to analyze your progress in great detail, set and adjust personal goals and share with other walking enthusiasts your results.