Walking is awesome. You can do it just about anytime and anywhere, it is free, you can do it alone or with others and it has a ton of health benefits! Here are some of our favorite health benefits and some ways to sneak more walking into your daily routine:
Walking is great for your heart and for lowering your risk of catching many diseases. Since walking is a low-impact cardio exercise, it has a lot of benefits for your heart. It can lower your levels of bad cholesterol and can increase your good cholesterol.2 It can help prevent high blood pressure and it can lower your risk for strokes, dementia, type 2 diabetes, colon cancer and breast cancer.1, 3
Walking keeps you trim and toned. Walking every day can help you lose weight or maintain a healthy weight. It also gives you great looking legs and can decrease your risk of varicose veins.2
Walking can increase your energy levels and your mood. Especially if you are suffering from depression or another mood disorder, walking can be a great way to get a boost during the day. Walking can help boost circulation and oxygen supply to cells in your body, which gives you more energy. It also can help to release endorphins which help you feel happier naturally.2
Walking can also keep you “regular”. It can help to encourage movement in your GI system, which can help your digestive system work more effectively.2
So, how do you walk more if you have a busy lifestyle? Here are a few tips:
- Enlist a walking buddy. Make a plan with a friend to walk, even if you can only schedule it once a week. This will help you actually follow through with walking and it is more fun with a friend!
- If you prefer to walk solo, take your dog or a friend’s dog or listen to music or a good podcast to pass the time.
- Change up the scenery. If you live in a city that isn’t that walking friendly or beautiful, drive to a park or a different part of town that will make you more excited to walk around. Walking in nature also has bonus points of calming your mood more effectively.
- Get a fitness tracker. Challenge yourself to 10,000 steps a day or any number of steps that work for you. This can be enough motivation to take a daily walk.
- Sneak in little ways to walk more. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, park farther away when you go to the grocery store or pick up sticks in your backyard. Any little steps count!
- Start slow. Don’t expect to walk five miles right off the bat, especially if you aren’t a regular or avid exerciser. Start slow and go at your own pace. You’ll work your way up to walking farther.
Do you enjoy walking? Did you know all of the health benefits that walking gives you? What little ways do you sneak more walking into your daily routine? Share with us below!
1 – Information from the Arthritis Foundation
2 – information from Prevention Magazine
3 – information from Tesco Living