Walking 6 miles a day, does it sounds like something you can do?
Are you looking out for a simple, manageable, and healthy exercise? One that will not only keep you fit and healthy but improve your mental and psychological well-being as well?
Look no further! Since the most convenient way is to walk it out. Walking 6 miles a day can do all this and much more. Read ahead to start walking for a healthy and happy life forever.
Walking As An Exercise
Though not popularly accepted as a seriously taken exercise, the fact remains that walking is an excellent form of exercise. Whether at the gym or in the open, jogging or running has always hogged the limelight being ‘the exercise.’
Well, no doubt, jogging is a great exercise, but walking too is a great workout. The problem begins when one starts comparing the two.
That is not right. Since there can be no comparison between jogging and walking. Both have unique advantages and meant for different kinds of people.
Like if a person has a knee joint problem, there is absolutely no way he can jog. But he can walk to keep up his fitness. Similarly, a very obese person cannot think of jogging. So the most suitable alternative for him is to walk and slim down.
Typically walking and jogging are different forms of exercise. Surprisingly, the muscles involved in both are different. While walking, the walker always has one foot in contact with the ground. On the contrary, the jogger is airborne between two steps. As the jogger lands on the ground, it jolts the bones and the knee joint in particular. That can get a little messy with people who have joint problems.
However, the discussion is not to glorify walking in comparison to jogging, but just offer it as a serious form of exercise. The three parameters which define the character of any practice are:
In comparison to other aerobic exercises, walking is a low-intensity exercise. That can be easily offset by increasing the duration and frequency.
There are some unique advantages of walking, because of which it gains acceptance and recognition worldwide.
Health Benefits Of Walking
The health expectation from exercise differs from individuals. But walking has some benefits to offer to almost everyone who walks.
Along with physical benefits, it also offers mental/psychological benefits to the walker.
Some Prominent And Tangible Physical Benefits Are:
- It dramatically improves the overall fitness and mobility of the body.
- Being an aerobic exercise, it increases the heartbeat, albeit gradually. Hence, it keeps the heart and cardiac muscles healthy and fit. Cardiac related problems can see a downturn because of regular work. It also reduces the resting heartbeat rate, which is a sign of good cardiac health.
- Walking daily and for a reasonable duration is an adequate calorie and fat burner. It prevents weight gain. So, all those who tend to gain for no apparent reason should take up walking.
- After some time of regular exercise, it increases the endurance of the body. Besides, the stamina and ability of the body to continually engage in physical activity, increase. That raises the metabolism rate and keeps the body active.
- Walking improves blood circulation in the body. As a result, there is efficient drainage of toxins from the body.
- The musculoskeletal system of the body becomes strong. And that reflects in excellent body posture.
- The skeletal system becomes strong. So, a lot of people find relief in their chronic back pain.
- The overall flexibility and agility of the body increases, and hence, chances of injury due to stiffness reduces.
- Walking boosts and strengthens the kidney substantially. And all minor kidney problems get resolved on their own.
- High blood pressure and diabetes control substantially because of regular walking.
- Walking increases the blood flow to the brain. That prevents damage to the brain cells. Also, it keeps dementia at bay, and the chance of stroke reduces.
- It helps improve erectile dysfunction.
- Walking reduces the chances of colon and breast cancer.
Apart from the physical benefits, walking offers some mental/psychological benefits too;
- It elevates the general mood, vigor, vitality, and attentiveness.
- Walking opens up the mind for the flow of ideas. Also, creativity increases by about 60%.
- It dramatically reduces the negative thought rumination.
- Just 10 minutes of walk reduces anxiety and depression to a large extent.
- Since the physical body becomes healthy, there is a general feeling of optimism and confidence.
With all these and a few more benefits, indeed, walking is an excellent form of exercise.
How Far Should You Walk Every Day?
As MSN says, the distance that you walk daily very much depends on your current fitness level and the objective of walking. Hence, walking distance should be good enough to challenge your body. At the same time, it should not tire you out to the core.
If someone is not used to walking, then one can start with a 10 – 15 minutes’ walk per day and reach to about 30 minutes. In terms of distance, this would roughly average to about 1.5 miles for a 30-minute walk. It is a fantastic exercise for most of us who expect moderate fitness goals. Most of the fitness experts find this to be a reasonable distance with satisfying results for general fitness.
However, the ideal magic figure for walking is 10,000 steps every day. For an average-sized human, this turns out roughly to about 5 miles. And that should take a little more than one and a half-hour of walking.
Putting the two together, logically walking any distance between one and half-mile (30 minutes) or 5 miles (100 minutes), is good for the body. Walk for a few days and find out your target between the two limits.
Walking 6 Miles A Day: Must-Have Essentials
If one goes beyond casual walking and decides to adopt it as an acute exercise, then certain essential accessories are required to make the experience more fruitful and injury-free.
- First and foremost, one needs to have proper clothes for walking 6 miles a day. If the climate is warm, then one should have comfortable jogging/walking tracksuits. The material should be comfortable and breathable. Also, it should wick the sweat away from the skin. Sweat sticking on to the skin surface is unhealthy. All the more, on hot and humid days, it can be intolerable. Technical fibers like Coolmax and the likes are appropriate and designed specifically for such applications. Though it will be a bit expensive, it still is a good investment. However, for colder days, suitable warm clothes and jackets should be used to prevent the body from catching a cold, frost and fall sick.
- The second most essential accessories are a pair of ‘walking shoes.’ Proper walking shoes are necessary to prevent any muscle pulls, cramps, and injury to the toes. Inevitably, a well-designed pair of shoes with appropriate sole and cushion will avoid damage to the calves, ankles, toes, and knees. Religiously walking for 6 miles a day would mean walking about 45 minutes to one hour daily. One particularly needs proper shoes for such kind of walking.
- As crucial as walking shoes are walking socks. The popular cotton sock is not a proper walking sock. It gets wet with sweat and thus results in bruised toes. The material of socks should wick away the sweat. Hence professional walking socks are best to ensure healthy toes and feet.
- To protect your face and other exposed skin, use a good grade sunscreen lotion. I addition, a sunburnt skin would not go well with a healthy body. Since one has to walk daily, a much-concentrated sunburn can cause severe skin ailments.
- Furthermore, a cap or some headgear is best to protect you from sun, cold and wind. An exposed head during walking may result in dull headaches both because of heat or cold.
- A small utility bag to carry your ID, money, cell phone, and keys is essential. Buy something like a waistbelt. Since, while walking, your hands should be free. Likewise, invest in a water bottle that slings over your back with a suction tube. Remember to keep yourself hydrated while walking.
Frequently Asked Questions
Walking 6 miles a day is not only a dream but a reality for many walkers. Six-mile a day walk brings in lots of long-term benefits. Many aspire to walk that distance daily but have some questions to ask, like:
1. How much time does it take to walk the length of six miles?
That varies from person to person, depending on his stride and physical makeup. On a moderate level of approximation, 2000 steps equal a mile of distance. So, a six-mile range translates to 12000 steps. On average, a person walks 100 steps per minute. With that as the base figure, an average person would take 120 minutes or 2 hours to walk six miles. Albeit, the calculated time can vary individually. Also, with increased practice and reasonable speed, people are known to cover six miles in one and a half hours. But to begin with, it is better to estimate it at 2 hours.
2. Can one burn more calories by walking faster at a distance of six-mile?
Yes, more calories burn by intensifying the walk. But since it is an everyday routine, it is necessary to keep the activity fun-filled and exciting. Additionally, high-intensity walking may not be possible for most of us daily, leading to gaps in the schedule.
3. Does walking six miles every day become boring?
Yes, it might get boring after some time, and hence it is vital to include variations in your walking. It also helps to have a friend along with you. Being a part of local walking clubs or fitness group makes it an enjoyable social activity.
4. How many calories burn by walking six miles?
On average, 100 calories get burnt for every mile walked. With that as the basis, a six-mile walk should burn 600 calories, theoretically. But one can safely assume around 500 calories burned in a six-mile.
5. Would walking six miles at a stretch dehydrate your body?
Walking six miles at a stretch can dehydrate your body. Therefore, you should carry a bottle of drinking water or have a drinking water fountain on your circuit. It is also a good habit to drink one glass of water, an hour before the walk. That, too, keeps the body hydrated.
6. Is it necessary to walk all seven days of the week?
No, it is not at all necessary to walk seven days a week. Moreover, walking 5 to 6 days a week will get you all benefits of walking. One day rest will help the body recover and hit the track enthusiastically in the coming week.
Level Up Your Walking Game With These Variations
Walking the same way every day for about an hour will get monotonous and boring. Since the muscles get used to the same type of movements, and as a result, incremental benefits get nullified.
But, fortunately, the way out is innovation and incorporating variations in walking. According to The Write Up Blog, over some time, some changes have evolved like:
Instead of walking at the same speed, tempo, and gait, a straightforward variation is possible. For the first 10-15 minutes, walk slow. Then for the next 15-20 minutes, increase the speed of walking. Moreover, such alternate slow and fast walking during the entire session is very good for the heart. Constant variations in speed work the heart better, and it also affects the involved muscles differently.
Short Stride Walking
Reduce the size of your steps considerably; take short steps. Since this will work out the leg muscles more efficiently and also minimizes the chances of muscle cramps and pulls. In doing so, you will end up taking more steps to cover the same distance. However, this is a more intensive workout.
This variation involves the movement of the opposite hand with every step you take. As you step your right leg forward, lifting it higher, move your left hand towards the right knee. Repeat the same process with the left leg and right hand. Along with the lower part of the body, the upper part, too, involves in the exercise. As a result, it burns more calories for the same distance walked. There is no need to do this throughout the walk. But include oblique walking in between randomly, to break the monotony.
If you can find upward inclines in your walking track, do walk on them. Furthermore, if you are lucky to have access to the countryside, walk up the hillocks as often as possible. Undoubtedly, inclined walking is a perfect exercise for the lungs. The glutes and hamstrings are engaged differently, and quadriceps also gets a different workout. Overall, it is a fantastic variation. The speed might reduce a bit as you walk uphill, but that is more than compensated by the extra effort put in to climb. It increases your endurance and power.
Yes, that is what it means. You have to walk backward. The leg movements are different, and it has a good impact on the knee joint, ligaments, and the tendons. Ideally, including 10 – 15 minutes of back walking in your walking schedule will do great for your legs and hips. Initially, it will take time to get into the flow of backward walking. But, with some practice, you will be able to do it well. Try this in parks and areas where there is no vehicle traffic for safety reasons.
Walk sideways by moving your legs sideways instead of in the front. Though it may feel very awkward in the beginning, it is perfect for the legs. The IT band on the sides of the thighs get a very nice workout. It increases their flexibility and range of movement. It is suitable for the hip joints too. Moreover, side walking help cut fat on the side of the hips a bit faster.
You can get quite creative and innovative by mixing different styles mentioned above. That way, you can make your walk more productive and exciting.
Walking 6 miles a day is a beautiful exercise. Our body specifically made to stand and walk. But unfortunately, the modern lifestyle entails that we sit most of the time. Take a break from your daily schedule to walk at least 30 minutes. That will keep you not only fit but will also keep a lot of ailments at bay.
For safe and effective walking, use all essential accessories. And it is better to enjoy the walk and not consider it a drudge. For walking, you don’t require anything other than a motivated self. You can continue this exercise anywhere and everywhere without any limitations. And conclusively, lead a happy and healthy life.
KEEP WALKING TO BE FIT AND HEALTHY!