11 Negative Effects Of Walking Too Much

There are numerous reasons why people walk. They do it to get in shape, to relieve stress, or just for enjoyment.  Generally speaking, this is a positive development in the overall scheme of things. When it comes to getting “too much of a good thing,” on the other hand, it could be detrimental. While walking has numerous benefits, it is critical to remember that this kind of exercise should not be done excessively. Let’s have a look at more details.

What Is Walking Too Much?

Negative Effects Of Walking

Almost everyone agrees that walking is the most acceptable kind of exercise because it helps them keep in shape and may even help them lose weight. However, over-exercising is common among many people who may not realize that they eventually damage their health and fitness levels by overexerting themselves. The average American walks 3,000 to 4,000 steps a day or roughly 1.5 to 2 miles. People who walk more than 10,000 steps per day are considered at risk for serious health problems, including heart disease and arthritis.

11 Negative Effects Of Walking Too Much

Physical ‘burnout’ 

Physical ‘burnout’

Walking is frequently marketed as a natural, low-cost method of exercise that does not necessitate any special skills or training. Unfortunately, excessive walking can lead to physical burnout, which is a severe health hazard to be avoided. Generally speaking, this is caused by abnormal muscular recruitment patterns, which might result in shivering and exhaustion. In addition, the constant wear and tear of training make it possible to acquire overuse problems such as tendinitis or tendon ruptures.

Great walking is particularly taxing on the heart, bones, and joints. The heart is forced to work harder to pump oxygen-rich blood to muscle tissue that has not had enough time to recuperate from the prior exercise session. This raises the likelihood of developing cardiovascular stress disorders, such as high blood pressure and cardiac arrhythmias, in the future (irregular heartbeat).

Hormonal dysfunction

The negative effects of excessive walking are not limited to the muscles, bones, and mind; it can also affect your hormone production. For those who walk continuously for long periods, there may be a hormonal dysfunction resulting in high cortisol levels (stress hormone). Unfortunately, cortisol has many damaging effects on fat cells as well as cardiovascular health. In addition, walking activates peristalsis in the intestines, which can trigger hunger pangs. When hunting for food outputs, ghrelin, or “the hunger hormone,” makes you feel hungry. This ghrelin rush causes you to eat more than needed when in motion and often after you have finished your walk.

Anorexia 

Anorexia

The loss of appetite caused by walking continuously can lead to anorexia, characterized by an intense fear of gaining weight. In addition, if you walk frequently, you might lose interest in food, and thus your body will miss essential nutrients for recovery and development.

Adverse health effects linked to OTS

Overtraining symptoms

Overtraining symptoms or OTS is a condition that occurs when the body muscles are not given enough time to rest. It is caused by excessive walking with the feet. When walking, heel strikes are followed by periods of inactivity with toes absorbing external loading, followed by heel strikes again. The repetitive impact produces muscular damage in the calf muscles, accompanied by inflammation and pain, among other adverse effects. 

It has been hypothesized that too much walking is related to many different health problems, including excessive loss of body fluids or dehydration. Still, there have been no conclusive studies linking it to certain illnesses or injuries.

Rhabdomyolysis

Rhabdomyolysis

Excessive walking can lead to Rhabdomyolysis, a breakdown of muscle fibers that leads to the release of myoglobin into the blood. Myoglobin is harmful to the kidneys and can cause kidney damage. Other symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, extreme weakness, lack of appetite, confusion, and dark-colored urine.

The symptoms may occur hours or days after an injury or exercise involving large muscle groups.” Again, symptoms are nausea, vomiting, extreme weakness, and difficulty in breathing, all of which can be caused by excessive walking for extended periods due to not sitting long enough (compensated by sitting).

Impaired metabolism

Impaired metabolism

Walking is healthy and regular exercise can help to improve energy levels. However, some people may experience adverse effects due to the excessive amount of time they are engaged in this activity. “Too much” walking can cause a reduction in overall metabolic rate, which includes suppressing the production of growth hormone and increasing the production of cortisol. As you know, cortisol is an inflammatory hormone that causes changes in behavior and mood, insulin resistance, weight gain, and loss of lean body mass. In addition, excessive walking can lower blood sugar levels, leading to fatigue soon after the walk ends. 

Decreased performance 

Excessive walking hurts people’s performance. For example, it is noted that if the person walks 7 miles per day, then the performance decreases to the same level as that of someone 14 years older. This means that people can get less work done and may not be able to do things such as get to work on time. It was also found that this may lead to decreased cognitive function and slow reaction times, affecting driving and other motor skills. 

Increased cardiovascular stress 

Increased cardiovascular stress

Excessive walking can also lead to increased cardiovascular stress. There is a negative effect of excessive walking on people’s hearts, lungs, and blood vessels. The impact of a specific amount of exercise on a person’s cardiovascular system depends on the speed of the walk. In addition, it was found that every 3 miles per hour increase in speed of a person’s activity corresponded with an additional 1 mile per hour increase in their heart rate. In general, these results show that excessive walking can result in increased cardiovascular stress and pose a risk for heart disease. 

It is also found that increasing your heart rate by 3% requires increasing your activity level by 12%. The lining of your heart can become inflamed, which could lead to blood clots forming in vessels and arteries leading off from the heart due to increased blood pressure caused by excessive walking.

Chronic injury

Chronic injury

Chronic injury is a health condition that can occur from walking or running excessively. It is typically caused by the repetitive trauma of excessive walking causing small tears in the muscles, ligaments, and tendons. In some cases, this can lead to the onset of arthritis or other long-term health problems.

In addition, chronic injury can also cause muscle spasms or cramping during workouts and physical activity. Therefore, it is essential for people who suffer from chronic injury to focus on getting rest and trying different exercises to build up strength in their injured area before you try your favorite sport again.

Fatigue 

Fatigued

One of the leading causes of negative effects from excessive walking is fatigue. Fatigue seems to be a natural by-product of a long day, but the level of heaviness you’re feeling in your muscles is more than just being tired. Fatigue from excessive walking can cause problems with memory, weight management, and increased risk of developing chronic disease. In addition, researchers have found that too much time spent on a treadmill may increase the risk of cardiovascular death by 40%. So if you’re feeling a little exhausted after a long walk or run, your body is telling you that it needs time to recoup.

Insomnia 

Insomnia

A recent study found that after just one hour of walking, participants were more awake and alert than they had been before the walk. But while this might sound like a good thing, the problem is that if you’re staying up for an extra hour and then trying to sleep, it’s going to be more complicated than usual due to your alertness. This means that poor sleep can lead to reduced concentration and decreased productivity throughout the day not exactly what you want from your exercise routine!

Common Injuries When Walking Too Much

Many people spend a lot of time walking. Almost everyone can benefit from walking, but it does come with some risks. If you want to walk for exercise, there are some things you should know about the risks of excessive walking. There are main problems caused by excessive walking.

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Ankle Sprains 

Ankle Sprains

Ankle sprains might not seem like a big deal at first, but they can cause long-term changes to the body’s mechanics and lead to chronic pain. They are one of the most common sports injuries.

Shin Splints

Shin Splints

Shin splints are agonizing, so it’s best to nip them in the bud before your shins turn into Swiss cheese. It starts with fluid buildup or inflammation along your shinbone, which causes jarring pain whenever you move.

Patellofemoral pain syndrome 

Patellofemoral pain syndrome

Patellofemoral pain syndrome  is a common injury involving pain in the front of your knee caused by mechanical stress to the joint during activity, typically walking. Your doctor may recommend physical therapy or surgery to heal the condition. 

Low Back Pain 

Low Back Pain

Low back pain is one of the most common injuries walking too much. You may experience this if you spend all day walking. It can be because your shoes may not offer enough support, or you’ve walked too far for your body to handle. The best way to avoid this injury is to wear shoes that are comfortable and provide good support. If you already have low back pain, the best thing that you can do is take it easy for at least two weeks until the pain starts to subside.

Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar Fasciitis is a common injury of the foot or heel due to increased weight-bearing on the heel. The primary symptom is a pain in the bottom of the foot, typically when walking for prolonged periods, often at night. It is often diagnosed by your doctor examining your arch and seeing plantar fasciitis or by an x-ray after seeing swelling around this part of your foot. Treatment includes rest from exercise and taking anti-inflammatory medications to reduce inflammation.

Patellar Tendinopathy

Patellar Tendinopathy

This injury can be caused by routinely walking on hard surfaces, such as concrete or asphalt. The symptoms include pain in the knee and a weakened popliteus muscle on the back of the upper leg. In severe cases, surgery is required to correct this condition. A study examining 73 cases of patellar tendinopathy found that it affected people with a median age of 29 years old and a median distance walked per day of 5 km or more.

7 Helpful Tips For Walk Training

You’re Overtraining. Now What? With a bit of advice from experts, it is possible to recover from excessive walking. So read on if you want to know what you can do about your current situation. 

Walk Little Less 

That’s the easy way to recover from walking too much. You can now resolve those painful shin splints, develop more muscular arches, and prevent back pain by walking just a couple of minutes less each day. This one simple change can help optimize your health at the same time that it improves your mood. For example, if you’re walking at a brisk pace of 4 miles per hour, try to walk at 3 instead. 

Take Breaks 

This will help your muscles recover and let you walk farther than before. It also lets your heart rate get back to normal to work properly and allows you to go further without getting too out of breath. Need for rest days: Keep in mind that even if you are doing moderate exercise for 20 minutes three times a week, it is crucial not to neglect rest days in between. To give yourself a break from exercise, one can take 3-4 days off. It makes one feel fresh when they come back after these ‘rest’ days.

Time for Massage 

Time for Massage

Although a massage is not a tool commonly used to treat walking injuries, studies have shown that a massage can increase blood flow to the muscles and help alleviate pain. A study published in 2004 found that a 20-minute massage decreased pain and fatigue in people who had been recently injured. 

Warm-up and cool-down

woman runner warming up

Always warm up before you begin to exercise, and cool down after. Exercising without warming up could cause injuries to your muscles, joints, and ligaments. It’s also important to cool down after exercising because it relieves fatigue, which reduces the risk of injury.

Stay consistent 

If you usually walk on a treadmill for 20 minutes three times a week, try to stick to that schedule as much as possible. However, if you feel your body cannot cope with the rigors of the treadmill, you can start walking at a light intensity. The best way to go about it is to start with just 10 min, slowly build up until you can walk 30 minutes non-stop.

Build up distance and time

Start by walking at a slower pace for 10 minutes. Then, start to walk for more extended periods or increase the speed of your walks. It might take time before you notice an improvement in your endurance and cardiovascular health, but keep trying, and you may find that you can walk farther!

A Good Training Program

Good training program

A good training program should include enough rest days. The negative effect of excessive walking should be noted in training programs for long-distance races. Walking can lead to leg cramps after a while, resulting in the need for resting periods. It would be wise to increase your stride length gradually or take regular smaller steps when you walk instead of big ones.

FAQs

How to Know if You Are Walking Too Much?

Walking excessively can result in stress on your body, especially within the feet. Some other warning signs that can occur following an insufficient amount of rest time are:

  1.  Pain in the back or other areas of the body- due to fatigue
  2.  Irritability throughout the day
  3.  Decrease in concentration power after just a few hours of work
  4.  Headaches throughout the day

How to include more steps in your day?

You might walk too much while trying to find time to exercise or while you are suffering from some chronic pain. There are several things you can do to avoid this problem:

  • Get a pedometer and start counting your steps 
  • Set a daily step goal and work to reach it by adding more steps throughout the day
  • Try music with your steps 
  • Try to do quick/short walks throughout the day 
  • Slow down your pace of walking so you can feel alive 
  • Take stairs for a change of pace
  • Take the scenic routes to see new places.

First, it’s important to know how long it takes you to walk from point A, then B. If it takes more time than anticipated, break that walk into multiple segments or plan out a longer route with less drastic changes.

Hopefully, this article has provided you with information on why walking excessively can be detrimental to your health and well-being.

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