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Your body needs these three forms of movement every week

Walking has earned a reputation as a great form of exercise that’s easy and accessible for many people, and scores of studies show the popular activity has numerous health benefits, too.

Getting at least 2,300 steps per day reduces your risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, according to one study published in a 2023 edition of the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.

In addition, weight-bearing exercises such as walking help prevent osteoporosis, according to another study published in the journal Nature Scientific Reports.

Yet some experts in the health and fitness fields assert that while walking is certainly good for your health and fitness, it’s not really high-quality exercise. One such expert is Melissa Boyd, a certified personal trainer and coach with Tempo, an online personal training platform. Boyd is based in San Francisco.

“Our lives have gotten so busy — we commute, sit all day, then are exhausted at night — that getting a short walk in makes you feel like you’ve done this big, exponential thing,” Boyd said. “But walking is really a baseline movement your body requires to function well, to help with things like circulation and digestion, and to decompress.”

To help her clients better understand why a daily walk won’t result in a beach body — something many of them believe, thanks to various social media influencers — she discusses with them the three types of movement that are beneficial for overall health and fitness.

First is the movement your body is owed or requires every day, such as walking, stretching and bending. Second is athletic movement, which you can do a few times a week to improve your fitness or to train for a sport. Third is social movement that you do for fun or to connect with others, such as dancing or playing volleyball.

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