SANA SHAIKH
By Sana Shaikh

BHMS and Yoga Trainer

13 December 2021
Medically reviewed by
Sudeshna Saha
Bachelor of Physiotherapy
How Does Walking Control Your Body Movements?
Table of Contents

Have you ever thought about what kind of power humans possess aside from their brains? What do we humans have compared to the horns, claws, and piercing teeth that other animals have to hunt their prey? The answer is endurance.

 According to some anthropologists, this became significant around 2-3 million years ago, when humans began hunting and scavenging. Early humans learned endurance hunting because we couldn't chase down a gazelle like a cheetah. They would track prey over vast distances until the victim either overheated or became trapped. However, people will call an uber even if they only need to travel a few blocks in today's society. Walking a mile or a marathon may appear difficult, if not impossible. But we were created to walk and run. We all were.

Walking at a moderate speed for 30 to 60 minutes most days of the week can provide many of the health benefits of a physically active lifestyle, including lowering blood pressure, improving sleep, increasing energy, delaying the aging process, and reducing sickness risk. In comparison to the required 150–300 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical exercise each week, researchers estimate that daily step counts of 7,000–9,000 could bring health benefits. (Slater, M., Usoh, M. and Steed, A., 1995)

What Muscles Does Walking Involve?

Our feet are what allow us to walk. This is partially correct, but not totally. Walking is a synchronized whole-body activity that utilizes both the arms and legs as part of locomotion. When researchers looked at how a runner like Usain Bolt coordinated his arms and legs, they noted that while running, not only do his legs move synchronously and diametrically, but so do his arms — all in perfect rhythm. (Perry, J.A. and Srinivasan, M., 2017)

Walking helps to strengthen a variety of muscular groups, including:

  • Calves
  • Ankles
  • Hamstrings 
  • The quadriceps 
  • Glutes 

With each step, all of these muscles are working together to push and move you forward. Furthermore, your upper body is engaged. Although not directly addressed, the upper body is employed to support your torso and maintain your pelvis so you can walk upright, according to specialists. Your hip flexors, core, and back are all working together to keep you upright and support your stride. While walking, if you move your arms or wear wrist weights, you can get an upper-body workout as well.

How To Maximize The Benefits Of A Walk

If you enjoy walking but want to burn more calories, tone muscle, or increase the intensity of your walk, and muscle strength consider some of these ideas to turn your walk into a full-body exercise.

Walk Uphill 

Compared to walking on a flat surface, walking on an elevation challenges your body and burns more calories. It also works your legs, glutes, and calves in a different way, which is better for muscle conditioning and growth. Start with a mild slope and gradually raise it if you're not used to walking on an incline. If you want to walk outside, find a location where you may begin your walk by walking uphill and end it by walking downhill.

Carry Weights Or Wear Wrist Weights 

While you're walking, keep your arms occupied. During your walk, use free weights or wear wrist weights to tone your arms and burn more calories. To avoid excessive pain or damage, make sure you're holding/lifting the weights with good form.

Increase Your Speed 

Start walking quicker if you want to burn more calories and fat. The typical walking speed is roughly 2-3 miles per hour or about 20 minutes per mile. Walking at a rate of 4 mph is recommended for weight loss. This equates to a mile time of 15 minutes. You'll burn about one-third more calories if you increase your speed from 3 to 4 mph.

Walking is a low-impact, low-cost activity that can be done at any time of day and at your own pace. You can go for a walk without the risks associated with more rigorous forms of exercise. Walking is an excellent kind of physical activity for people who are overweight, elderly, or haven't exercised in a long time. Walking is essential for the development of the whole body and walking also leads to a healthy lifestyle.

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