What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of “doing cardio?” Probably running, right? Lacing up those sneaker for a miles-long jog is the go-to for so many of us looking to drop weight and improve cardiovascular fitness.
It shouldn’t be, though.
OK, OK… running is amazing and I’m not suggesting that anyone stop, but it’s not necessary — especially for beginners. What is? Walking. It only takes a few miles a week to get some serious health benefits from it and it’s easy, meaning people from all fitness levels can do it.
Case in point: Pasquale “Pat” Brocco. The 31-year-old weighed 605 pounds three years ago and decided to start walking to jumpstart his weight loss. He made a pact with himself to walk the mile to and from his local Walmart every time he wanted to snack.
“You walk to Walmart three times a day, and you end up walking six miles,” Brocco told ABC News. “It’s amazing because I never walked six miles in my life, and I was doing it every day.” The walking turned into eating healthier and weightlifting at the gym. Now he weighs under 300 pounds.
Then there’s The_Walking_Joey on Instagram. The man is melting before his follower’s eyes with over 230 pounds lost from his highest weight of 660 in just over a year.
And as for keeping it off in the long term? Walking is the key, according to one Michigan woman who lost 162 pounds by walking and has kept it off for 12 years.
“The question that I hear the most is: ‘Are you sure that all you did was walk 1.5 miles a day?'” Jodi Davis told MLive.com. “When I answer ‘Yes’ they are often surprised, feeling as though walking isn’t enough to create a significant weight loss.”
It obviously is! Lace up those walking shoes and get outside for a walk around the block, or two. Your body will thank you.