Walking is an excellent and popular fitness choice for corporate wellness programs, as it provides a highly effective activity that employees of all fitness levels can participate in, while requiring little-to-no specialized training and promoting social interaction. However, a few persisting myths about walking may cause concern for some employees. Here are four of the most common myths about walking and the information you need to help correct any misinformation and encourage participation.
1. Walking Isn’t a Very Effective Exercise
One of the most common reasons to resist walking is the perception that it’s a lot of time or effort for very little return. In reality, walking can be an extremely effective calorie-burner. For a 160-pound person, walking at a pace of two miles per hour burns 204 calories; at a brisker pace of 3.5 miles per hour, that leaps to 314 calories per hour. Those numbers increase as a walker’s weight increases, with a 200-pound person burning 255 calories or 391 calories per hour, depending on speed. In addition, walking can help the body build lean muscle mass that results in higher metabolism and a more toned physique.
2. Slower Walking Means Fewer Calories Burned
It’s true that minute-for-minute, faster walking will burn more calories than walking at a slow or moderate pace. In other words, 10 minutes of fast walking will have more of a calorie-burning impact than 10 minutes of leisurely walking. However, other than race-walking, many experts contend that the discrepancy does not hold true over comparable distances walked; over the course of a mile, walking slowly or walking quickly will burn approximately the same amount of calories. This is encouraging news for employees who prefer a leisurely pace, or whose current physical conditions prevent fast walking, but believed their slow or moderate pace wasn’t enough.
3. Walking is Bad for Your Joints
Some people are under the impression that the repetitive motion of walking puts undue stress and weight on your joints, leading to deterioration and joint problems. However, the culprit is not walking, but incorrect walking shoes and poor walking form. Walking itself is not harmful to joints; on the contrary, walking can be effective in keeping joints and bones strong and healthy, even warding off or minimizing the effects of arthritis and osteoporosis. Give your employees the information and education they need to choose the right shoes and to practice proper walking form so that they can walk their way to health in comfort.
4. You Only Benefit for as Long as You Walk
For those unfamiliar with the benefits of cardiovascular exercises like walking, it would seem logical to assume that the benefits of walking are in effect for the duration of the walk; that is, an hour-long walk provides an hour of burning fat and calories. However, brisk walking can have residual benefits, as well. After a brisk walk, the increase in metabolism can result in a brief period in which the body continues to burn calories, even after the walk is over. Encourage your employees to maximize this effect with “interval walking”, in which a walker alternates between fast and slow speeds throughout their walk.
At Walkingspree, we provide superior corporate wellness solutions centered on the numerous benefits of our corporate walking program. Our customized health and fitness solutions combine advanced monitoring and tracking technology with the built-in-fun of motivating incentives, rewards, and social interactions for programs that result in high engagement, healthier employees, and positive ROI. To learn more about the significant benefits that your company and your employees can realize with our corporate walking program, contact Walkingspree today.