Can You Walk Your Way to Fitness?

The health benefits of walking are well known: It boosts mood and metabolism. It reduces the risk of some cancers and chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease. Walking even has the power to extend your life. In fact, for every 2,000 steps you take each day, your risk for premature death falls by 6 to 11 percent, suggests a study published in 2022 in JAMA Internal Medicine. But is walking good for weight loss? The fast answer: Yes, but.

Like any type of cardio, “walking is beneficial for weight loss, but it’s important to recognize that exercise alone is not the most effective strategy for losing weight,” says Sabrena Jo, Ph.D., ACE (American Council on Exercise) senior director of science and research. “Weight loss is best achieved through a combination of nutritious eating, regular physical activity, adequate rest and recovery, and effective stress management.”

So, yes, walking is good for weight loss. “But for optimal weight loss and overall health,” says Jo, “it should be complemented with a diet rich in whole, nutrient-dense foods.”

Excerpted from AARP

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