While chewing gum may be considered rude in certain contexts, you may want to reconsider throwing it away the next time you head out for your daily walk. New research shows it could make a significant difference, especially if you’re trying to lose weight.
The Journal of Exercise & Fitness just released a new study over the summer looking at the effects of chewing gum while walking at a leisurely pace. Fifty participants completed two separate trials: One where they chewed a basic gum while walking for 15 minutes and another where they took two fast-dissolving gum pellets that weren’t chewable before going for another 15-minute walk.
Scientists’ findings were stark: When participants chewed gum as they walked, they produced a higher heart rate, step count, walking distance, walking speed, and energy expenditure; all of these are crucial for increasing fat burn and therefore losing weight. Researchers found that subjects who were over the age of 40 in particular saw increased results. These experiments also show that the basic ingredients in gum itself aren’t the only factor that’s causing these incredible changes; the act of chewing it also matters greatly. Moreover, they didn’t specify that a certain flavor or type of gum was better than others.
Moreover, previous research backs up the findings, and in addition to the incredible physical boost you can get from a regular stroll, these studies show that there may be much-needed psychological benefits, too. How many more reasons do you need to lace up those sneakers and head outside?
If you’re looking for more ways to get the most out of your regular walks, there are plenty of other tricks you can try in addition to chewing gum. Walking at a slightly faster pace, listening to certain music during your stroll, and making sure you’re out and about for at least 30 minutes a day can all make a huge difference when it comes to your well-being — and your waistline.