Why Walking Works

Walking For Fitness

Hikers in a MeadowWithout even looking like an exercise, walking produces the same physical fitness, health and weight control benefits as high-intensity, high-impact exercises but without the dangers and hazards.

Compared with running (a high-intensity, high-impact exercise), walking produces much less stress on the knee joints – your feet strike the ground with only 1-1.5 times body weight when walking compared with 3-4 times when running. Whereas running mainly builds muscles at the front of the thighs and the back of the calves, walking builds the muscles of the entire leg. From a biomechanical point of view, walking is the easiest and safest aerobic exercise.

Here are just some of the benefits you will gain from fitness walking:

Health benefits

  • Improved heart health
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Lower cholesterol – increases ‘good cholesterol’
  • Strengthens bones – helps to prevent osteoporosis
  • Reduces stress
  • Improves mood and increases sense of well-being through release of endorphins

Weight loss

  • First class calorie burning – depletes fat, not muscle
  • Metabolic rate increased 1- 4 hrs after walk, assisting further weight loss
  • May raise resting metabolism – assisting weight loss
  • Successful long term weight maintenance


  • Increased cardiovascular conditioning
  • Improved muscle tone and strength


  • Easiest and safest way for all the family to keep fit
  • Easiest long term exercise

If you are unfit, pregnant, or have a diagnosed medical problem which will affect your ability to exercise, you should check with your doctor before commencing with a vigorous fitness walking program.