I'm pretty sure you already know how beneficial walking is to your health, right? You know for a long time that it’s true. You also know you should get out and do it. But why aren't you walking more often? Let me guess that maybe the benefits haven’t really sank in yet and you let the thousand daily things get in your way… I'm not going to convince you (you know better than me what you should do), but I thought that sharing with you my favorite benefits of walking as a reminder can not do otherwise than good!
Walking is the easiest form of exercise
You don’t need any special equipment or clothing. Yes, you may want some decent shoes, maybe a pedometer and something to bring some music with you. Unless you have some physical ailment or you’re in a wheelchair, walking is definitely the one exercise you can do. In most cases, you don’t even have to learn how to do it. You already know how!
Get the right mindset
One thing you may need to change is your mindset. Too many people think if they can’t start walking five miles a day, it’s not worth doing. The truth is, it will take time to work up to that if you’ve been sedentary for a long time. You can start by simply walking to your mailbox and back if you live in a neighborhood with a driveway. If that doesn’t seem far enough, but you’re afraid to get too far from home due to being in poor physical shape, then walk to the mailbox twice. Keep building that up and eventually you’ll get out of your driveway.
After you’ve walked your driveway a few times, maybe it’s time to walk to your neighbor’s house down the street. The point is, you don’t have to start out walking long distances. Start with what you can do. Do it every day and then, every week or two, increase the distance by a little more. Your health is worth it.
Let’s cover some of those benefits!
(In case they haven’t sunk in yet…)
- Walking improves circulation. Sitting around too much can lead to blood clots in your legs. Walking stimulates good circulation so blood doesn’t pool in your legs and lead to blood clots. The calf muscles act as sort of a pump that gets the blood back to your heart. Simply getting up and walking around the house every half an hour can be very helpful.
- Walking improves bone density. As you age or lead a sedentary lifestyle, your bones become weak, thin and brittle. Walking everyday can help strengthen your bones and keep them from losing density. You want to be able to use your legs well into your old age, so start taking care of them now by getting out and starting a walking program.
- Walking can lead to a longer life. With improved circulation and heart health, you extend your life expectancy. Keeping in shape, by walking, will help you ease into your senior years gracefully and keep you fit enough to get out and enjoy retirement.
- Walking increases your mood. If you suffer from light depression, walking is an excellent way to help you feel better. It causes your brain to release endorphins, the feel good hormones. Do you know that a daily walking plan can help decrease depression and also put you into a more positive mood?
- Walking can help you lose weight. It may not burn a ton of calories, but burning any excess calories off is a good thing. Walking tends to have a domino-like effect on weight loss. It does take time to see the weight loss, but every little bit helps.
- Walking strengthens your muscles. As you know, your legs and abdominal muscles are important, as they both carry your whole body. Keeping them in shape gives you a better quality of life and good muscle tone helps burn more calories. Your joints also benefit from stronger bones and muscles and walking helps keep them lubricated. You may experience soreness, especially when you first begin a new walking program, but over time the soreness will go away.
- Walking improves your breath. Breath is another part of your life. Walking helps strengthen your lungs, helps your body to replace oxygen and getting your lungs in better shape means you can easier expel any type of phlegm. It also means colds and other respiratory ailments can heal quicker.
If you haven’t started a walking program yet, why not? It’s beneficial to people of all ages and it can be a nice time to spend in family. It’s super easy because there’s no learning curve and it's (almost) free because there is no fancy equipment to buy. All you have to do is make up your mind and DO IT! Then step outside your front door and take a walk. It's that simple. With all the benefits mentioned above, you can see why I'm one of so many people who love walking!
And now, your turn…
Tell me what is your greatest benefits or challenge in the comments.