Interval walking – shorter walking intervals at a faster pace than usual, followed by short walking intervals at a normal pace – can positively affect your health in several ways.
- Helps to lose weight
All exercises performed at such intervals, including walking, burn more calories during the activity and stimulate metabolism during and after the workout.
- Helps control type 2 diabetes
A Danish study found that those with type 2 diabetes who regularly did interval walking managed to lower blood sugar levels, lower cholesterol, and lose weight.
- Improves mood
Such exercises stimulate neurotransmitters in the brain such as serotonin and dopamine, which balance mood and increase motivation. A recent study has shown that 15 minutes of intense exercise per day reduces the risk of depression by 26%.
- Improves cardiovascular health
Exercises that require more than 130 steps per minute have a greater effect on heart health and improve arterial health.
It is best to start with moderate intensity hiking, to increase it after a few weeks. Patients with diabetes or heart problems often start with 15 seconds of fast walking, then 15 minutes of slow walking, and as the condition increases, so should intervals of 30 seconds, 1 minute, 2 minutes, etc.
During fast intervals, you need to walk fast enough to make it difficult to talk, which is about 130-140 steps per minute. During slow intervals, the number of steps per minute should be 100-110.