I was wrong about walking. As a sedentary-video-game-nerd in recovery, I used to think walking was one of the most pointless, silly things I had to do.
I ruthlessly tried to cut out every ounce of it from my routine.
Even once I began lifting weights and overhauled my diet, walking was something in begrudgingly did to get to the gym (only a few minutes away).
And even after coaching guys and gals for many years on how to lift weights and eat better—I still avoided walking.
I designed my life to work from home, had my groceries delivered and used Amazon Prime to avoid errands.
But in the past couple of years, I’ve radically changed my tune—
And now, everywhere I look there are more and more benefits—some more shocking than others.
Benefits of walking
- Walking burns both stubborn belly-fat and visceral fat—without being in a calorie deficit
- Walking lowers blood sugars without insulin—reducing chronic inflammation and fat-storage
- Walking releases an antioxidant from our muscles called extracellular superoxide dismutase (EcSOD)—protecting our muscles and preventing disease
- Walking helps with anxiety, depression, and ADHD
- Walking will extend your life—both quality and quantity
- Walking improves recovery after lifting weights through nutrient delivery through blood flow
Now I recently found out that walking more can increase your testosterone.
(If you’re a woman and reading this, I would guess that walking makes men more manly, and walking makes women more womanly. Good health = being more “you.”)
Testosterone + Walking Study
Let’s look at a 2015 study succinctly titled “Increased physical activity has a greater effect than reduced energy intake on lifestyle modification-induced increases in testosterone.”
Researchers took overweight men who were nearly fifty years old and put them in two groups:
- One on a diet
- One on a diet with a 40–60 minutes walking (or jogging) session 4-7 times a week.
The group that was walking went from an average of 7,300 daily steps to 11,000 daily steps. (That’s an average, some guys were walking as little as 1,100 daily steps to start.)
Over 12 weeks, some crazy things started to happen. The average guy walking more:
- Lost 12cm off their waist
- Had their resting heart rate dropped from 65 to 56
- Had their cholesterol, insulin, and triglyceride levels improve
- Had their vo2max increase from 28.9 (very poor) to 35.9 (fair)
- Had their testosterone shot up
The diet-only group lost more weight—but their pot belly didn’t budge as much.
That makes it likely that the diet-only group probably burnt less fat (smaller belly loss), which would mean that weight loss came from muscle—not good.
And, those in the diet-only group didn’t get the same testosterone improvements.
The group walking saw this testosterone boost happen:
Why does walking and testosterone matter?
Well, if you’re skinny-fat and/or you work a desk-job (sedentary), and you want to get more muscular, leaner, and burn off stubborn belly fat?
Yes, you’ll need to put in the work by lifting weights and learning what to eat (and when to eat.)
But don’t shy away from those long, outdoor walks in the beautiful sunshine—like I was.
Here’s what Amy said after putting our walking principles in action:
“Just finished up Week 2. I got in my morning/evening walks – they are a highlight of my day.”
And from Rohan:
“Added a goal to get more walks in, [and] that has had a direct effect of increasing my energy levels. It just feels good. I also have hope that I can actually fix my health, which is a great thing, as I wasn’t sure what was wrong with me.”
That’s it for today. If you want help learning how to become lean, strong, and healthy—I suggest taking a look at our True Gains program.