With all the exercises out there, THIS is one that almost everyone can do! A good ole’ fashion walk. Walking has numerous benefits and here are some that may motivate you to put your sneakers on! As will any new exercise program it is always recommended that you check Doctor first.
Walking is considered a low-impact exercise. It is much less jarring on your joints than high impact exercises such as running or jumping rope. A low impact exercise is one in which one foot remains in contact with the ground at all times. Low impact exercises can still give you a nice cardio workout, with less chance of injury.
2). No practice required
Since most of us have learned to walk by the age of 2, walking should come easily and naturally for the majority of people. There are no manuals to read or study to get started. If you can stand and move your legs at the same time, you should be good to go right out of the gate.
3). No equipment needed
All you need is a good pair of sneakers and comfortable clothing and you are ready to go. Of course, if you have a treadmill, you can use that on a rainy day if you want. However, there is something very refreshing about hauling your buns outdoors and taking a walk in the nice fresh air.
4). Can walk almost anywhere
There are so many places you can walk. All you need to do is open your door and head on out. I enjoy walking through my neighborhood on the sidewalk. However, you can go to a park, find a walking trail, or how about a high school track field (when school is out for the day). In my area some people enjoy going to the mall in the morning before all the stores open and walk for an hour or so. Basically you can walk almost anywhere!
5). Good for your heart
According to the American Heart Association 30 minutes of moderate exercise such as a brisk walking can provide many benefits for your heart and improve your overall health. Here are some of those benefits:
- Reduce the risk of coronary heart disease
- Improve blood pressure and blood sugar levels
- Improve blood lipid profile
- Maintain body weight and lower the risk of obesity
- Enhance mental well-being
- Reduce the risk of osteoporosis
- Reduce the risk of breast and colon cancer
- Reduce the risk of non-insulin dependent
6). Helps you sleep better
I can tell you from experience that exercise definitely helps me sleep better. Taking a nice long walk will help you to shake off the stress of the day and prepare your body and mind for the next day. According to the Mayo clinic, regular physical activity will help you fall asleep faster, deepen the sleep cycle and prevent restless nights of tossing and turning.
7). Clears your mind
Walking as well as other forms of exercise is very helpful in relieving stress and clearing your mind. When you exercise your body pumps out tons of feel good neurotransmitters called endorphins. This rise in endorphins helps to wash away stress, give you a sense of well-being, sometimes referred to as a runner’s high. A brisk walk or other forms of exercise that get the heart pumping will give you the same effect.
8). You can adjust to your own fitness level
One of the best things about walking is that whether you are a beginner who is just starting a walking program, or an advanced walker who has been around the block a few times, walking is one of those exercises where you can begin at whatever level of fitness you are currently at. If you are not physically fit, you can start with a 10 minute walk each day, and build from there. As you begin to build your endurance, you can add more time to your walking routine. If you get to the point where it starts to become too easy, then you can begin to walk faster, or if you really feeling like you need a challenge try adding some ankle weights!
9). It is fun
It is so easy to dread your exercise program if you don’t enjoy it. In order to spice up your walk, pop your ear-buds in and listen to your favorite songs…you know, the ones with lots of funk that make you want to dance in the street! Adding music to your walk will definitely make the time go by so much faster. Just make sure that you have your volume at a level where you can still maintain safety and awareness of your surroundings. Another fabulous idea is to take your dog with you! I know my dogs love going for walks…that way your pets get a nice dose of exercise as well.
10). Trims your waistline
I saved the best the very best reason for last! If you think you can’t lose weight walking think again! The key here, as with any exercise program is consistency. You have probably heard this before, but you have to pick something you like and stick with it. Another key in losing weight with walking is that you need to push yourself out of your comfort zone. Sure, a leisurely walk will have some benefits. However, if you are looking to blast some fat you are going to have to pick up the pace a bit, get your heart pumping and aim for a brisk walk. You can totally do it!