Walking is part of our daily lives and is one of the simplest forms of exercise. However, as good walking is for health, there are negative effects of walking too much; because excess of everything is bad.
Walking regularly has many benefits, such as weight loss, reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases, increased blood circulation, stress reduction, and more. The AHA recommended weekly exercise for adults is 150 minutes on average. However, suppose you are walking too much or pushing your body over the limit. In that case, it can result in injury or physical burnout.
This doesn’t mean you should avoid walking or any other physical activity just because of its harmful effect. Let’s take a look at the bad effects of walking so that you get to know how to prevent walking injuries in the future.
How Much Walking is Too Much?
Walking is one of the best forms of exercise for physical and mental health. It controls your blood pressure, blood sugar, reduces heart attack risks, and more.
But there is no set limit on how much walking is too much rather; it depends from person to person. For example, some people walk an hour a day for a month with more or less 10,000 step per day, while others barely achieve half of that because of their sedentary time.
If you are walking regularly for fitness, then it isn’t easy to ascertain that you are walking too much. But if you are walking to achieve weight loss, you’re probably walking excessively to burn calories. This excessive walking stresses your body, and it becomes an obsession to lose weight which can have many negative effects.
Excessive Walking Symptoms
We often think of walking as a moderate exercise and don’t give a second thought to the effects of walking long distance. However, just like any other forms of exercise, excessive walking is possible and comes with its harmful effects.
It would help if you listened to your body when exercising or walking and didn’t ignore signs of pain and discomfort. To help you from the negative effects of walking too much, here are some excessive walking symptoms.
Soreness in Feet and Joints
The primary symptom of excessive walking is feeling soreness in the feet and joints. If you notice any signs of soreness and you don’t appear to have any injury, it means you are walking too much. As your feet and joints are at the receiving end during long walks, you can get sore muscle, feet, and joint pain. If the pain and soreness persist, it is better to take rest days or reduce your walking distance.
Need Longer Periods of Rest
If it requires you to take longer rest periods and return to normal after a walk, then it is another symptom of walking too much. This is because the physical exertion drains your energy which requires a longer recovery period. So if you feel the need to rest for longer periods to return to normal, shorten your walking duration and intensity.
Shortness of Breath
Shortness of breath is another symptom of excessive walking. Although shortness of breath while walking is linked to other body ailments. The effects of walking too much during pregnancy also draw shortness of breath and body pain.
If you notice your bad posture with shoulders slumped, that might signify that you are walking too much and not giving your body the rest it requires. Unfortunately, a bad posture also results in injury and loss of proper footing. To overcome bad posture, you should give your body enough rest to function normally.
Effects of Walking Long Distance
Long-distance walking puts your muscles and joints through a lot of stress and wear and tear. If you don’t give your body the rest it requires between long walks; it can lead to bad effects of walking.
You can encounter physical or mental stress, pain and soreness in joints and muscles, increase risk of injuries and more bad effects of walking. Let’s look at some of the common effects of walking long distance.
When you are walking too much, you are constantly burning calories resulting in energy depletion from your body. The hormone imbalance caused by fatigue creates difficulty in sleeping and irritability. Your body requires rest and refueling to overcome fatigue.
Risk Of Injuries
Another negative effect of walking too much is the risk of injuries. When your muscles and joints have been overutilized, the onset of pain and soreness is inevitable. If the pain and soreness persist, then the risk of injuries can increase. Foot and knee injuries are associated with walking too much. On the other hand, walking too much can flare up any old injury.
If you are walking too much, you will notice your performance decrease by the day even if you are giving your 100%. You might notice a decrease in your walking speed and duration. More so, you can become less motivated in your walking routine due to decreased performance.
Walking too much can affect your metabolism due to low energy levels for longer periods. The more you walk, the higher your metabolism and the more energy your body requires. But once the body’s energy is depleted, the metabolism is disturbed and weakened. It can result in low testosterone levels, iron deficiency, and decreased bone density.
Joint Pain and Sore Muscle
Walking too much can put a lot of stress on your muscles and joints. Therefore pain and muscle soreness set in when you don’t provide enough rest to your body. Knee, back pain, and muscle soreness in the legs are commonly associated with excessive walking or exercise. Excessive walking can also flareup or make worse any previous leg, knee or lowerback injury.
Weight loss is one of the benefits of walking an hour a day for a month. But hormone imbalance can trigger decreased hunger resulting in excessive weight loss. Where balanced weight loss is good for your health, sudden weight loss can be extremely dangerous.
Normal regular walking is good for your cardiovascular health. It keeps the heart rate normal and decreases the risk of a heart attack. But the negative effect of walking too much is that it can put a lot of stress on your heart. Your heart rate can shoot up if you keep walking a long distance without taking breaks.
Mental Effects Of Walking Too Much
Excessive walking affects you not only physically but also mentally. The first sign of the mental effect of excessive walking is that you feel tired and irritated. The endorphins start to reduce, which are produced during normal walking. The second sign you may notice is the lack of energy when walking. And you may start to feel unmotivated or don’t feel like walking at all.
How to prevent walking injuries and overcome the bad effects of walking too much
The negative effects of walking too much don’t appear automatically. Rather it happens when you don’t listen to your body and keep going through the pain. Your body requires constant refueling and rest when over-exercising or excessive walking.
Most people think that taking rest days can wash away all their fitness efforts which is wrong. By making a few adjustments in your walking routine, you can prevent walking injuries. So following are some tips to overcome the negative effects of walking too much.
Walk Less and Take Breaks
Suppose you’ve been walking excessively lately and feeling tired unmotivated physically and mentally, then it’s time to scale back on walking. You should reduce your walking distance and pace and see if it feels better. If you still feel joint pain or sore muscle, take a few days off and rest your body to feel any changes.
Wear Proper Walking Shoes
To avoid walking-related injuries wearing proper walking shoes is important. Wear shoes that fit properly have a wider toe box and a zero incline. Because walking is a rolling motion, the flexible shoes will keep your foot motion comfortable. The best walking shoes for wide feet womens or best wide width walking shoes for men can help them walk better and reduce any risk of injuries.
Listen To Your Body
Always listen to your body when exercising or walking too much. If you feel any changes in your walking, such as shorter stride, joint pain, or muscle soreness, immediately slow down and take a break. You can also reduce your walking intensity and duration to reduce the negative effects of walking too much.
Walking is one of the best forms of moderate exercise and carries many health benefits. It controls your blood pressure blood sugar, reduces the risks of heart attack, and many more amazing benefits.
But sometimes, the negative effects of walking too much takes over when you don’t listen to your body and keep going through the pain. It is better to be consistent in walking rather than intense.
So take rest, refuel your body, switch your walking routine, and keep walking to stay fit and healthy.