Walking Is The Perfect Low Impact Exercise
If you haven’t exercised in a while, or are looking for something easy you can do every single day, why not try a walk? It’s the perfect low-impact way to exercise. It’s easy to do, you don’t need any special equipment, and you can start at the fitness level you’re at right away.
If you’re not in the best of shape (like me), start by going for a 10 or 15-minute walk around the neighborhood and work your way up from there. If you’re already in great shape, walking can still provide an effective workout. Walk fast and incorporate some hills and even stairs.
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If it’s Been a While
If you’re like most of us, chances are you haven’t exercised much since you got out of college (or even high school), and you’ll need to start small.
Maybe your doctor suggested that you move around more, or perhaps you just want to be proactive about your health and well-being. In either case, walking is the perfect way to start.
Find a pair of comfortable shoes, put them on and go for a stroll through your neighborhood. You could also find a local park with a nice path you can walk on. If the weather doesn’t permit walking outside, head to your local mall or Walmart and walk around there.
Here’s a simple idea to get you moving more: as you’re sitting on the couch at night watching TV, get up during commercial breaks and march in place until your favorite TV show comes back on.
If you’re using a service like Netflix, make yourself walk in place for 10 minutes in between episodes. Or turn on the TV and challenge yourself to march in place during the entire show.
Time will fly while you’re having fun watching TV and moving. It’ll be like walking on the treadmill at the gym with the gym TV going in front of you!
Enjoying Your Walk
Speaking of having fun, going for a walk outside can be a lot of fun too. Mix up your route and walk in different areas of town, or visit different parks. Invite a friend to come along with you to walk.
It’s always nice to have someone to talk to and having a walking buddy keeps you accountable. My daughter and I walk around different parts of our neighborhood or get our walk on at Sams Club 😄.
Be sure to grab your phone or MP3 player and listen to music or audiobooks as you walk; it’ll make the time go by faster.
The main thing is that you get out there, move around, and get some exercise in a way that’s gentle on your joints, your heart, and the rest of your body.
What You Gain from Walking on the Regular
There are a lot of good reasons to go for a walk. It’s fun, it’s relaxing, and most importantly, it’s good for your health.
But what exactly are the health benefits of walking?
Walking Gets You Outside
No matter how fast or slow you walk, walking gets you outside and in the fresh air. This act alone will make you feel better as your body absorbs the oxygen and sunshine. Both are important for your health and well-being.
You’ll find the air quality outdoors will be much better than the air inside your house, and the sunshine outside will help your body produce all the Vitamin D it needs.
Walking Can Help You Get To And Maintain A Healthy Weight
Walking regularly at a quick pace can help you get to and then maintain a healthy weight. Yes, you still need to watch what you eat and aim for a healthy diet, but walking can be another tool to help you drop those extra pounds.
The nice thing about walking when you’re overweight is that you burn a lot of calories, even on short and slow walks, just because you’re carrying so much weight around! This makes me happy LOL.
As you start to lose the weight, your overall strength and endurance increases, allowing you to walk longer, further, and faster.
Walking Improves Your Sense Of Balance And Coordination
As you walk, especially when walking over rougher terrain, you’re also working on your sense of balance and coordination. Just getting in the habit of going for a daily walk will help.
But you can accomplish even more on your sense of balance by moving your head around. Turn your head to the right and left as you walk for a count of 30. Then move your head up and down for an additional 30 beats.
If you do these simple exercises once or twice as you walk each day, you’ll get even more benefit.
Walking Strengthens Your Bones and Muscles
Even though walking is a low impact form of exercise, it helps to strengthen and tone your body. If you’re just starting, it is all you need to start to get into better shape.
As you progress, consider adding weight lifting exercises to your daily walks. You’ll continue to get stronger and help develop strong muscles and bones.
- Walking Will Boost Your Mood
Last but not least, the exercise of walking releases endorphins that will help lift your mood and can even reduce depression.
Give it a try. The next time you’re feeling tired or are in a bad mood, lace up your sneakers and go for a brisk walk. It works like a charm!
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