Walking: An Underrated Exercise
As the weather warms up, many people start looking for reasons to get outside and enjoy the sunshine. Going for a walk is a great way to get moving and enjoy the outdoors. Walking is also a great way to add some physical fitness to your life!
Health experts recommend getting 150 minutes of physical activity every week. Physical activity can be a wide range of things, but it doesn’t always have to be complicated or strenuous. A simple, brisk walk can greatly improve your health. Walking regularly can help maintain a healthy weight, prevent or manage conditions like high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease, strengthen muscles and bones, help with balance and coordination, and help improve your overall mood. It can also help you reach a goal of 10,000 steps per day, which is recommended by health experts.
Walking regularly can also increase your cardiovascular and pulmonary fitness. When you walk, your heart and lungs are required to work a little harder which helps them stay fit. If you suffer from joint and muscular pain and stiffness, walking can help manage or improve these conditions. If you choose to walk outside, other benefits include lowering stress, improving focus and mood, and it can help you get a good dose of Vitamin D.
Another benefit of walking is that it requires little equipment. All you need is a good pair of walking shoes and a place to walk. You can find some trails, like our local Rock Valley Trails or just stroll around the neighborhood. When it cools down or if the weather isn’t great, you can always visit the Hegg Wellness Center and walk on a treadmill. Try to add 30 minutes of walking to your daily schedule. If you don’t have 30 consecutive minutes, you can break this down into two 15 minutes walks too.
Set goals and stay motivated. If you need to work up to a half hour walk each day, start with smaller increments or every other day. Keep a calendar and track how far you walked and how many minutes you walked each day. Purchasing a fitness device like a Fitbit or pedometer is another great way to track your goals and stay motivated. If you aren’t the biggest fan of walking, you can try walking with a friend to keep you accountable or give a friend or relative a call while walking. Listening to music, a podcast or audiobook while walking can also keep it interesting. Changing up your route is another great way to keep walks interesting.
Overall, adding a daily walk to your routine is a great way to get some physical activity in your day. There are so many health benefits to walks. We hope you’ll find some time to enjoy the weather today and go for a walk.