Especially where weight loss or weight maintenance is the aim, it’s easy to assume hitting the gym or doing other high-impact sports is going to be the most effective route to take fitness-wise.
Yet new research from the London School of Economics and Political Science suggests there’s an even more efficient option. The study claims that people who walk briskly for longer than 30 minutes every day have lower Body Mass Indexes (BMIs) and smaller waists than those who work out at the gym, run, or go swimming.
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“Briskly” is the operative word here — a leisurely stroll to the nearest bakery probably doesn’t count.
The study published in the journal Risk Analysis examined data from the annual Health Survey of England from 1999 to 2012 and found moderate-to-high intensity walking had the strongest link with weight control of all the exercise types. This was particularly evident among women, people over 50, and low income earners.
As the Evening Standard reports, Dr Grace Lordan believe her findings make a good case for encouraging people to walk more, which could prove a simple way to address rising obesity rates and inactivity.
“Recommending that people walk briskly more often is a cheap and easy policy option… Additionally, there is no monetary cost to walking so it is very likely that the benefits will outweigh the costs,” she writes in Risk Analysis.