Like it or not walking is part of our life. In fact, walking is an easy way to promote well being and quality of life. Also, you don’t need to spend a penny to do it. We are already aware that exercise is vital if we want a healthy lifestyle. We often think that we need to go to the gym and engage in two hours of intense cardio. However, physical activity does not require an intense workout. You can walk as part of your daily routine. Walking is not a difficult task, you can walk anywhere and by doing so you can get some fresh air and see the beautiful things in the world around you.
5 benefits of Walking
You carry your body weight when you walk. This is known as weight-bearing exercise. That is why walking is not just easy way to be active but also an effective way to start your healthy lifestyle. Outlined below are the 5 main benefits of regular walking as an exercise:
- Improve your immune system– As we all know, our immune system is our body’s defense against illness. Walking for at least 30-minutes a day can increase your circulation, free your mind for contemplation and boost your immune function. If you don’t take the time to exercise, you can easily catch colds, flues and other more serious health problems.
- Improve your mood– Did you know that walking not only strengthens your nervous system it can also exercise your mind as well? Walking releases endorphins which act as our body’s neurotransmitters that increase happiness. Sometimes a bad day will affect your mood and focus. This leads to frustration and anger. Taking a walk will help decrease your rage and help regain your focus. Instead of eating chocolate to boost your mood, why not consider a few minutes to walk and avoid excess avoid calories?
- Lose weight– Did you know that by spending 30 minutes walking can burn up to 150 calories? Also, a regular walk increases your body’s response to insulin which helps eliminating belly fat. Walking can improve your metabolism by burning calories and avoiding muscle loss.
- Prevent chronic conditions– Did you know that the American Diabetes Association advises that walking regularly helps to decrease your blood sugar level and risk for type 2 diabetes? Researchers also say that walking regularly can lower your blood pressure thus lessening your risk of stroke by up to 40%. In fact, other studies conducted in 2002 found that walking at least 30 minutes a day and 5 days a week can lower your chance of getting cardiovascular diseases by up to 30%.
- Reduce joint pain– Studies have found that walking help reduce joint pain. Walking helps strengthen and protect the joints in our knees or hips. Thus, walking six miles a week can prevent arthritis. However, you have to consider your capability. Don’t think you have to do it all in one day. Take it slowly and build yourself up.
Walking can also promote quality of sleep, and prevent varicose veins. Going for a morning walk can help you feel energized throughout the day and help you focus on your daily tasks at school or at work.
What is my Goal?
If you’ve decided that walking is the right exercise for you then it’s okay to start slowly. Your body has it’s limits. You must be aware of your limits and capabilities. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, your body needs at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity and 75 minutes of intense fitness a week. If you aim for at least 30 minutes of walking or a 10-minute session a day, you should easily achieve your goal.
What to consider before walking?
Before you start your walking routine here are some things to consider:
- Get the right gear-Find comfortable shoes and clothes so you don’t feel any pain or discomfort while walking. Shop for the appropriate active wear including the appropriate footwear.
- Choose the right path-Avoid cracked sidewalks and low-hanging trees that will hinder your ability to walk with ease. You also need to consider the weather. If you think it is not appropriate to walk outdoors, you can find a wide indoor space such as a mall. All walking counts!
- Warm up– You need to do some stretching. At least a 10 minutes warm-up is enough to help your body prepare for your exercise.
- Cool down– It is okay to take a rest. You don’t need to force yourself to continuously walk. Take a few minutes of rest to cool down and relax your muscles.
Your physical health is an essential part of living a happy life. After reading this I hope you want to start your day right and consider walking as your way towards fitness. Instead of using a car, why not take a walk? How about instead of using an elevator or escalator, why not use a stairs?