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Walking Could Be the Most Important Form of Exercise You Do

woman's feet as she walks
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If you’ve been trying to find a way to add more exercise to your life, or maybe you’re not the type who enjoys hardcore workouts, you can stop looking for a solution. Experts say that walking is the “superfood” of fitness, that it could be the best way to stay healthy.

In a fitness culture filled with boot camps and extreme-weight-loss reality shows, it seems to some fitness and health experts that we’ve lost sight of one activity that helps define us as humans: walking. Many are now saying that we should be more concerned with the amount of time we spend sitting than with how intensely we’re working out for the 30 to 60 minutes we spend at the gym. Rather than worrying about how hardcore our fitness regime is, we should simply be getting up and walking more often.

As biomechanist Katy Bowman, author of the book ‘Move Your DNA: Restore Your Health Through Natural Movement,’ says, ” ‘Actively sedentary’ is a new category of people who are fit for one hour but sitting around the rest of the day.” She adds, “You can’t off-set 10 hours of stillness with one hour of exercise.”

Bowman also touts walking as a very simple and effective way to add movement to your life. “Walking is a superfood,” she says. “It’s a lot easier to get movement than it is to get exercise.”

Researchers are starting to find that extreme combinations of physical activity and inactivity are more likely lead to risks of chronic disease than just foregoing physical activity altogether. And a recent study suggests that a five-minute walk every hour does far more to reverse the harmful effects of prolonged sitting than being sedentary all day only to hit the gym, the running trail or workout class aggressively afterward.

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