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episode #263

Don’t Stop Moving: The Science Behind Moderate Intensity Walking Exercise for Overweight or Obese Individuals

June 22, 2023 in Podcast


In this episode, I discuss how incorporating walking into your daily routine as a low-impact and achievable form of physical activity can support health and well-being.

Many studies have shown that walking is one of the most effective ways to reduce abdominal fat (in particular visceral fat that lays around your abdomen), improve insulin resistance (become more insulin sensitive), and reduce serum cytokines (inflammatory markers).

Lastly, walking induces chemicals in the brain that promote feelings of happiness and well-being, which can reduce stress and anxiety.

Hopefully today's episode will inspire you to get outside, enjoy some great weather and start walking! Oh and bring someone with you as well!

Study links: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5667627/ https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15580192/ https://record.umich.edu/articles/group-nature-walks-linked-improved-mental-health/

Brian (1s):

Hello and welcome to the GETLEAN and Eat Clean podcast. My name is Brian Gryn. I'm the certified health coach, trainer and author, and this podcast is for middle aged men and women looking to optimize their health and get their bodies back to what it once was 10 to 15 years ago. I will give you simple, actionable items to get long term sustainable results. Thanks for listening and enjoy the show, All, right? Welcome to the GETLEAN E Clean podcast. My name is Brian Gryn. I hope you had a great weekend and happy Father's Day to all those fathers out there. Hopefully you spent some great time with your family and friends.

Brian (42s):

Enjoyed some good food and some good weather cuz we're sort of getting it here in Chicago. So getting some beautiful weather here. So yeah, hopefully I had a great Father's Day weekend and happy Tuesday if you're listening to this on Tuesday. Hopefully you listen to my interview with Mack McCue Mack is someone I've known through the years and I've sent an email out looking for individuals who wanna share their story on the GETLEAN Knee Clean podcast. And Mack responded and I was glad to have him on. He was great. I mean he, not only did he tell his story, but he gave tons of great tips around intermittent fasting, ways to avoid decision fatigue, sort of his daily routine. And, you know, he lost 50 pounds over, you know, from March to September of 2020 and has since kept it off and he weighs between about one 70 and 1 75.

Brian (1m 31s):

So, you know, not only that, I mean, you know, obviously we've talked about in the past, you know, weight is one aspect of health. It's not the only thing, right? But, you know, he feels like he's got gained more energy, you know, he's able to play with his grandkids and he did this through, you know, not only doing some fasting, but also other great habits that he talks about such as, you know, eating Whole foods and resistance training and walking, which sort of is leading me into today's micro podcast. But if you haven't listened to his testimonial, check out episode 2 62 with my interview with Mac Chu. And so today I wanted to touch on walking.

Brian (2m 12s):

Walking is something that I've, I've touched on quite a bit on this podcast. I wanted to, to hit on a few studies that have been done. But the effects of walking on, you know, abdominal fat, insulin resistance, something called serum cytokines, which is pretty much inflammation. These markers can be improved by simply getting up and walking. It requires no, no special equipment. you know, you don't have to go to a gym, you know, you can do it in your basement, you could do it outside, preferably if you can get outside and get some beautiful weather as well, that's ideal. But I wanna touch on some of these studies and hopefully this will inspire you to get out and walk.

Brian (2m 53s):

Every client that I have, this is definitely one of the pillars of health that we focus on because the impact of walking can have a positive effect on reducing abdominal fat, also known as visceral fat, visceral fats, that fat that accumulates in the abdomen and around like vital organs. So it's definitely very important. It's been linked to several health, you know, issues such as type two diabetes, heart disease, even stroke. There was a study done by the National Institute of Digestive and Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney disease where Obese women walked for 45 minutes five days a week for six months and showed a re significant reduction in abdominal fat compared to those who didn't exercise.

Brian (3m 36s):

Now, no big surprise there, right? So the study indicated that, that a abdominal fat loss was greater in women who walked at a brisk pace. So there's something to be said about walking at a brisk pace, and this doesn't mean that you have to get up and sprint. So I would say if you can elevate your heart rate and your breathing and body temperature, but still can carry a conversation, I think that's ideal. Now, don't get me wrong, any type of walking is perfect, but if you could do sort of a modern tense walking exercise, this is where they'd seen that the best benefits come from. Now granted, I'm walking my dogs, I don't always walk in a brisk face, but we're pretty fast walkers, so I think that's ideal if you're getting out and walking.

Brian (4m 20s):

And so that study showed that you can have a reduction in visceral fat, right? Also, you know, obviously we hear a lot about insulin resistance. you know, this metabolic disorder that causes cell to become resistant to insulin, a hormone that regulates blood sugar. Well, insulin resistance is a, is a contributor to obesity in type two diabetes. And so there was a study done by the University of Missouri showing that Obese women who walked four days a week, okay, four days a week for eight weeks. So four out of four out of four days outta the week, not crazy, very doable for eight weeks, showed a significant improvement in insulin sensitivity compared to those who didn't.

Brian (5m 1s):

Now, if you could couple walking with some resistance training, you will definitely improve your insulin sensitivity and how, how you know, efficient you are in handling different foods. So this, that study showed that it reduced their levels of fasting insulin, which is another great marker that you want to get measured from time to time because it's a marker of insulin resistance. So not only So, we got visceral fat, we can get a reduction of visceral fat, potentially we can help with insulin sensitivity and we can also help with something called cytokines. Cytokines are small Proteins in the body that play a critical role in the immune system response to infection and inflammation.

Brian (5m 42s):

So it's an inflammatory marker. Now, Obese individuals tend to have higher levels of cytokines, which can cause chronic inflammation and contribute to several health problems like type two diabetes, heart disease. There was a study conducted in the University of Illinois, found that walking exercise can reduce cytokine levels in Obese women studies show that walking for 12 weeks resulted in a significant decrease in serum cytokines, interleukin six i, L six, TNF alpha, and C reactive Proteins, all inflammatory markers. Now, on top of that, what about the effects of the, the mental part of it, right?

Brian (6m 24s):

The, you know, we have the physical part, which I mentioned in insulin, you know, potential re reduction in insulin resistance and becoming more insulin sensitive, reduction abdominal fat, less inflammation. But walking also induces chemicals in the brain that promote feeling of happiness and wellbeing. And this can reduce stress, anxiety and things like that. University of Michigan did a study in with individuals who walk for 30 minutes at a brisk pace experience, 20% reduction in the symptoms of depression. So not only your physical health, your mental health. And what I will say to this is, if you notice these studies have done over 12 weeks, right?

Brian (7m 9s):

Most of 'em are done 12 weeks, some six weeks. But I think the key is the consistency of it. you know, there's a lot of people who might walk for a week, do walking for a week, and then they won't get back to it for months. You gotta stay consistent in this stuff, even if it's only three, four days a week, that's fine. I think whatever you can do at a consistent matter and that, and that goes with resistance training as well. Even if it's twice a week of strength training and maybe two or three times a week of walking, stick to something that you can do consistently over a long period of time. Because what I, I see a lot of people do is they wanna get into everything and do everything every day and they burn out and then they end up not doing anything. So that would be my key tip right there.

Brian (7m 50s):

So as you can tell, walking exercise is low impact, it's inexpensive, it's effective way to improve health, reducing, potentially reducing abdominal fat, improving insulin sensitivity, decreasing inflammation, and improving mental health. So it's important to start slow, build a routine and gradually increase the duration as you go. Doesn't have to be a long, long walk, but the key is consistency. And I think for the most part it's gonna, I don't think I know it's gonna improve both your physical and mental wellbeing. So that's all I wanna touch on today. I'll put in the notes, I'll put the Links to the studies.

Brian (8m 33s):

If you have any questions, feel free to email me, Brian Gryn I dot com. And if you have a testimonial, feel free, email me. Maybe we'll get you on the podcast as well, just like we did with Mac. Also, if you haven't checked out my book, Stepladder system.com, check it out. Hot off the presses, working on getting it in paperback as well. But yeah, I put a lot of time and effort into it and I hope you really enjoy that. So that's step system.com and you can check it out there, or you could just go to Brian Gryn dot com and there's a Link Stepladder system there as well. So have a great rest of the day and week and I'll talk to you on Friday with another great interview.

Brian (9m 14s):

Thanks so much for listening. Thanks for listening to the GETLEAN E Clean podcast. I understand there are millions of other Podcasts out there and you've chosen to listen to mine and I appreciate that. Check out the show notes at Brian Gryn dot com for everything that was mentioned, In, this episode. Feel free to subscribe to the podcast, share it with a friend or family member that's looking to get their body back to what it once was. Thanks again and have a great day.

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