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Can Walking Daily Make You Fit?

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Find out how it can keep you healthy and in shape!

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When people chart out a how-to-get-fit-plan, they usually think about getting a gym membership (which most people DON’T end up using) or to go on some, new fad diet. Walking never ever really makes it into any such lists. Even if it does, it’s usually plan Z!

Amit Chadnavis, is a 27-year-old software engineer, like most, didn’t think much about walking as a form of exercise. Before the pandemic hit and our social lives came to a complete halt, he was a super active person with a super-toned physique to show for it. “Thanks to my profession, I’m mostly tied to my desk. So, I used to make sure I was getting some form of exercise seven days a week—gym during weekdays and football or cricket with my friends on the weekends. When the lockdown happened, all of this stopped.” In just six months, Chadnavis went from being a lean and muscular person to an overweight one. “I had put on some 12 kilos, and for the first time in my life, I had a paunch! WFH meant I was putting in longer hours, which meant I was sitting more. The belly fat really bothered me!”

I decided to start going for brisk walking for 30 to 45 minutes just within the walls of my apartment building I was staying at along with some bodyweight exercise at home, as everything else was still shut.” Fast forward three months, the protagonist of this story was back in shape with no signs of a jelly belly. Man’s Life finds out ways in which walking helps…


Young hispanic man standing shirtless holding weighing machine

If your goal is weight loss, walking helps a great deal. Like with any form of exercise, you just need to keep at it and be disciplined. Mumbai-based Certified Personal Trainer and Sports Nutritionist, Bhaskar Shetty, says, “I think walking is probably the single-most underutilised tool in health and fitness. This is because most people have a misconception that they should train hard at the gym in order to lose fat. In reality, even a basic exercise like walking, when done consistently can yield results!”


Man using daily activity tracking app on mobile phone showing 10 000 steps daily goal achievement

According to Daniel Lieberman, a Harvard paleoanthropologist who has studied the evolution of exercise, the idea that walking 10,000 steps as a benchmark came from a Japanese commercial!!! WE KID YOU NOT!  In his recently published book, Exercised: Why Something We Never Evolved to Do Is Healthy and Rewarding, Lieberman notes that—Manpo-kei (translated as 10,000-step meter) was invented in the 1960s by the Japanese company Yamasa Tokei—the producer of the first commercial pedometer. The company chose the name because it sounded good. WTAF, right? Well, even though this whole counting 10,000 steps thing may be a marketing sham, the health benefits of walking aren’t! You’re good even if you punch in 7,500 steps, as research has found the benefits max out by then!

Simply counting steps doesn’t count (pun intended). All steps aren’t equal. If you walk to the fridge a couple of times a day from your WFH desk to snack, your Apple Watch or pedometer will count those steps too (you get where we are going with this, right?)! “A brisk walk is more beneficial than a slow walk, and a jog’s better than brisk walking. So, it makes more sense to tap into your heart rate than steps,” explains Shetty.


Man in oversized pants in weight loss concept

Studies have revealed that people who stuck to a calorie-deficit diet, and walked for an hour at least five times a week for about four months, lost about 1.5 inches off their waist when compared to those who only followed the diet. So, when done regularly, walking—which is an aerobic exercise—will help you tone up your tummy—only if you also eat mindfully!  



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If you want a beach bod like Tiger Shroff or Hrithik Roshan, walking isn’t going to help build muscle mass. Sure, it will help tone the muscles on your thighs and calves. If you want to get leaner, walking helps, but for a muscular appearance—you need to do strength training with weights! This along with a solid nutrition plan will probably get you to your dream body! So, if you’re chasing high-level performance, a low body-fat percentage or a physique like The Rock—relying solely on walking won’t work!


man training on walking treadmill at home

Walking is literally a lazy guy’s way to stay fit. This relatively simple exercise is so easy to squeeze into your daily life or schedule! The best fitness routine is always going to be the routine that you follow consistently. No excuses for missing the gym. You can even walk in your own house, your terrace or on your way back from work!


If you don’t have old-man knees or other injuries, make sure to increase the intensity or pace when you walk. If you’ve been walking for 30 minutes daily, gradually increase it to 45 minutes or an hour max. Walk on a slight incline on a treadmill or uphill or an elevated path while outdoors to challenge your body further! If you have a sedentary job—make sure you walk for at least 15 minutes every hour. It’s easy—just take all your phone calls while walking! Set a reminder on your phone until it becomes a habit. Changing your speed while walking can enhance calorie burn by about 20 per cent! Adding one-minute intervals into your walking schedule can also boost your metabolism!

The moral of the story: Walking does help you stay healthy and in shape, if your goal is fat loss. Provided you watch what you eat as well! What seals the deal is that you don’t need expensive gym memberships, personal trainers or figure out an auspicious time to start it! You can start NOW!  

Disclaimer: Please talk to your doctor/physician before changing your diet or fitness routines if you have any pre-existing health conditions or injuries!


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