Does walking exercise endurance as well as exercise?

Does walking exercise endurance as well as exercise?

Since the beginning of the epidemic, the quality of walking as a hobby has increased. In times of lockdown, curfews and the like, the rally has given many a sense of freedom – and the exercise they need. But what about the sports side? Is walking also endurance training? FITBOOK Sports Physician Dr. asked Paul Schmidt Hellinger.

Leisurely “walking” appears to be a reasonable alternative, especially for people who are reluctant to run or are unable to do so for health reasons. But is endurance training on foot just a “real” sport?

Study shows health benefits of walking

A study published in the specialized journal PLoS One attributes a large number of positive effects to walking. Your body weight, fat mass and body fat percentage should decrease through regular walking. This effect was found in 68 employees who were essentially sedentary. The subjects were divided into three groups. The first group went for short walks several times a day, the second group took long walks a day, and the third group served as a control. Regardless of whether the march was divided into several small “walks” or occurred in one piece: the positive effects were similar.1 But how does walking affect endurance? Can it replace regular sports?

Also interesting: 11 reasons why you should start your day with a picnic

The sports doctor welcomes the new love of walking

Whether in the garden or in the woods, alone or with a partner: Walking has clearly been beneficial to us, not only during the Corona crisis, and many people are now using this beneficial form of exercise as an alternative to exercise – also to increase endurance. direction that dr. Paul Schmidt-Hellinger, Charité’s sports physician, noted the matter and rated it very positive.

FITBOOK reported on the health benefits of the famous 10,000 steps per day (corresponding to 6.5 kilometers with an average stride length of 65 centimeters). This is about longer distances. What are the health benefits of walking ten kilometers or more? How do they compare to running? How can you improve your stamina with it? Should you pay attention to walking speed? Does walking exercise endurance as well as exercise? And at the end of life, is it better to be an avid walker than a competitive athlete?

walking and endurance

FITBOOK: Can hiking improve endurance?
Dr. Paul Schmidt Hellinger: “It depends. When walking at a sport walking pace (6 kilometers per hour), the load on the cardiovascular system is usually less than 50 percent of maximum capacity. Endurance improves from 60 to 70 percent. If you are an athlete, walking will have no A training effect. But if you’re overweight or haven’t exercised for 20 years, you may have half the endurance of a proper runner – and then the effect of endurance training is there. For these people, going for a walk is just the thing!”

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Aside from the psychological added value: To what extent do athletes benefit from hiking?
Schmidt Hellinger: “They reduce their susceptibility to injury and can be happy about their calorie consumption. It’s actually not that low! For example, an hour of walking burns as many calories as jogging for 20 minutes – about 200 calories. As a rule, a third are burned Running calories.When you walk, these calories are likely to be burned by fat metabolism and training.On the other hand, in a 10k run, you mostly burn sugar.This is why walking doesn’t necessarily improve your 10k Your best time.”

Can athletes make up for lost strength training with at-home bodyweight exercises and walking as a supplement?
Schmidt Hellinger: “Yes, but then you have to be careful to get into your elevated heart rate range when working out at home. My advice: squat, hold your breath in extreme cases!”

Pedestrians vs. competitive athletes

Years at a very high level of performance – or who has walked consistently throughout his life?
Schmidt Hellinger: “At the end of life, emergency prevails (Regularity, editor’s note) All about the effect of training. For example, a person who ran fast in one year will not do as well in old age as someone who has exercised moderately throughout their life – this includes regular walking. This person may not be particularly capable, but he has a good base level and, by the time he reaches 90 years of age, is likely to be more fit than a former competitive athlete who has exhausted his reserves and is left with nothing but the mindset of an athlete when he wants to start training again. ”

How many kilometers per day would be optimal?
Schmidt Hellinger: “Human anatomy is designed to walk 15 kilometers per day. So that would be ideal. By the way, city dwellers tend to walk more than rural dwellers. It has been calculated that the average New Yorker walks an average of five to ten kilometers per day. It concerns large train stations. “.

walking speed? Did not matter!

What is the ideal walking speed?
Schmidt Hellinger: Walking should be more about alertness (Focus on the moment, editor’s note) You go out of the clock. You should go at your own pace and go as long as you want to. Then you automatically enter a state where you feel fit and balanced.”

Also interesting: 6 exercises to get really fit while walking

How can you motivate yourself to go for a walk?
Schmidt Hellinger: “For example, it motivates me to see how far I can go. Then I realized: Wow, I’ve never been far from home! That impulse is in us, I think. You can z.b. also plan to go to the city limits.”

Dr. Paul Schmidt Hellinger is a physician and athlete
Dr. Paul Schmidt Hellinger is a physician and marathon runnerPhoto: private

Dr. Paul Schmidt-Hellinger (34 years old) is a successful marathon doctor and loves to take long walks. Because the athlete recently underwent surgery, he is currently unable to go long distances. On the weekends, he still ran 12,000 steps (on Saturday) and 4,000 steps on Sunday – plus 30 kilometers of cycling and a visit to his own garden sauna.


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