Is walking cardio? | LiveScience

Anyone who enjoys the undeniable pleasures of a good walk has at some point asked themselves the question, ‘is walking cardio?’ After all, even those who enjoy the torturous rigours of a high-intensity workout like to mix it up with a different speed sometimes, and more than any other physical pursuit, walking offers something for everybody, no matter what level of fitness they may be .

However, can we really class walking as a cardiovascular workout? Whether you are planning to make the most of those light summer nights or are looking for the best walking treadmills (opens in new tab) to ensure you get your steps in no matter the weather looks like, you want to feel a sense of surety that walking is benefitting you with gains proportionate to the amount of time you’re putting in.

What is cardio?

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According to the Department of Health and Human Services (opens in new tab), cardiovascular activity is defined as any activity that gets your heart, lungs and large muscle groups working and studies show that walking at a pace of 5-8 miles per hour undoubtedly qualifies as moderately intense physical activity. This offers a wide-ranging number of benefits, including developing aerobic fitness, reducing body fat and resting blood pressure and improving blood pressure control. Walking also combats weight loss, depression and cardiovascular disease, with a study published in PLoS One (opens in new tab) showing that even intermittent walking programs can exhibit positive effects on body fat levels.

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