Jul 21, 2022
Do 15-Minute Walks Do Anything?
If you’re here, it’s because you care about your health. You probably look forward to being outdoors, burning calories and enjoying beautiful blue skies. There’s just one little problem: finding the time. Is it possible to get the exercise your body needs with several shorter walks instead of one long walk?
Which Is Better: One Long Walk a Week or Many Short Walks?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, you should aim for 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise every week. You have the freedom to decide how and when. Some people love going for a two-hour hike on Sunday morning, and others prefer to squeeze in 15-minute walks during their lunch break.
Surprisingly, exercise is one of the few times in life when quantity is more important than quality. Recent studies suggest that it’s probably better for you to exercise many times a week instead of just once, even if it’s only for 15 minutes. In one study, the participants experienced greater weight loss by splitting exercise into shorter periods, and they had higher step totals, too.
It all comes down to the importance of regular physical activity. When you spend too long sitting down, your body goes into passive mode, like a computer that hibernates when you’re away from the screen too long. Even a short burst of physical activity is sufficient to “wake up” your metabolism, burn calories and generate energy.
The Benefits of Getting Some Physical Activity Every Day
Staying active has a huge list of amazing benefits:
- Alleviates stress and boosts happiness and well-being
- Improves mental focus, learning and memory
- Increases energy levels and helps you stay alert
- Lowers cholesterol and blood sugar levels, reducing your risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke
- Helps you stay in shape and promotes weight loss
- Stimulates your immune system
- Improves sleep quality and helps you fall asleep more quickly
- Supports balance and increases muscle strength
- Reduces bone loss and promotes bone growth
If possible, you should try to get some exercise every day. This can include going for a brisk walk, biking, swimming or doing aerobics.
How Long Does Your Walk Need To Be?
Several factors determine how effective exercise is: time spent, intensity and type of activity. You also need to think about your goals. Here’s what you can expect with different options for walking:
- 15 minutes: Going for a 15-minute walk every day is a reachable goal for anyone. This can help you stay consistent. Also, 15 minutes of vigorous exercise (speed walking) provides the same results as 30 minutes of moderate activity.
- 30 minutes: A moderate-intensity 30-minute walk may feel more relaxing. It’s also a more comfortable option for people who need low-impact exercise.
- 45 minutes: Stretch your walk to 45 minutes if you’re looking to maximize stamina. As long as you keep up the intensity, you can burn a greater number of calories.
Going for a walk for any length of time is better than not walking at all. Starting short is a great way to get into the swing of things. As you notice how amazing it makes you feel, you’ll probably be motivated to walk a little longer.
Above all, enjoy yourself. When you're doing something you love, it's much easier to be consistent. Stop and smell the roses, so to speak (but keep walking!)