Benefits of Walking

Benefits of Walking

We all know that daily exercise can help our physical and mental health, but being active doesn’t require expensive gym equipment or membership in a fitness club. It can be as simple as taking a walk.

There are many benefits to making a commitment to walk regularly as a way to improve or maintain your health. Following these guidelines can help you achieve the results you want!

Find a routine that works for you. Pick a time of day when you can take a brisk walk for approximately 30 minutes. You can use this time to jumpstart your morning, or perhaps wind- down after a day at the office. If you prefer a walking companion, find a friend or neighbor who will be as committed as you are.

Dress appropriately. Walking as a form of exercise requires athletic shoes and comfortable clothing.  If you are walking early morning or in the evening, make sure your clothing has reflective fabric and be prepared for different weather conditions. You don’t want to be uncomfortable while you are walking.

Walk briskly. You don’t have to run, but walking at a brisk pace will help lower your risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Walking with purpose entails keeping your head up, keeping your neck, shoulders and back relaxed, and walking smoothly and consistently.

Vary your route. Make sure to stretch before starting your walk, and consider your route. If you can, change it up to keep your interest, to add a challenge such as an incline, or make your walk a little longer on the weekend when you have more time. If the weather is simply not cooperating with your desire to be outdoors, take advantage of a nearby mall or indoor sports park.

Enjoy the results. Walking regularly can help you physically by maintaining or achieving a healthy weight. It can strengthen your muscles and improve balance, coordination, and energy levels. You may feel the mental benefits as well, as you start to feel less stressed, more motivated, and self-confident.

Inspire others! Once you start to feel the benefits of walking, others will undoubtedly start to notice. Share your love of walking with friends and neighbors and inspire them to put on their walking shoes too.