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Surely your question is among the one that most people who care for their health and intended to lose weight also ask.
The truth about walking is, if you haven’t exercised in a while or are looking for something easy you can do every single day, I’ll suggest giving walking a try.
Walking is a great way to improve or maintain your overall health.
It’s the perfect low impact way to exercise. It’s easy to do, you don’t need any special equipment and you can start at the fitness level you’re at.
You’re not in the best of shape, start by going for a 10- or 15-minutes walk around the neighborhood and work your way up from there.
Then when you feel better, 30 minutes every day can increase cardiovascular fitness, strengthen bones, reduce excess body fat, and boost muscle power and endurance.
While the physical benefits are notable, the mental boost that can be gleaned from adding a walk to your daily routine may be more immediate.
The more you exercise, the more calories you burn. In addition, the more muscle you develop, the higher your metabolic rate becomes, so you burn more calories even when you’re not exercising. The result?
You may lose weight and look better physically which will boost your self-esteem.
Walking can also reduce your risk of developing conditions such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis.
If you’re already in great shape, walking can still provide an effective workout. Walk fast and incorporate some hills and even stairs.
But, let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. If you’re like most of us, chances are you haven’t exercised much since you got out of college and need to start small.
Maybe your doctor suggested that you move around more, or maybe you just want to be proactive about your health and well-being. In either case, walking is the perfect way to start.
Find a pair of comfortable shoes, put them on and go for a stroll through your neighborhood. You could also find a local park with a nice path you can walk on.
If the weather doesn’t permit walking outside, head to your local mall and walk or hop on a treadmill.
You can even walk in place at home in front of your TV. Here’s a simple little idea to get you moving more.
As you’re sitting on the couch at night watching TV, get up during commercial breaks and march in place until your favorite TV show comes back on. If you’re using a service like Netflix, make yourself walk in place for 10 minutes in between episodes.
Or turn on the TV and challenge yourself to march in place during the entire show. Time will fly while you’re having fun watching TV and moving.
Speaking of having fun, going for a walk outside can be a lot of fun too. Mix up your route and walk in different areas of town or visit different parks.
It’s always nice to have someone to talk to and having a walking buddy keeps you accountable. Finally, grab your phone or MP3 player and listen to music or audiobooks as you walk to make the time go by faster.
“With that being said, walking is a really good form of exercise and can help you reach your fitness and weight-loss goals.
. “In fact, walking is the suggested workout over running for many people. For example, those with knee, ankle and back problems and also for people who are overweight to obese. Walking is a lower impact exercise and can be done for longer periods of time.”
Keeping a record of how many steps you take, the distance you walk and how long it takes can help you see where you started from and serve as a source of inspiration.
Just think how good you’ll feel when you see how many miles you’ve walked each week, month or year.
Record these numbers in a walking journal or log them in a spreadsheet or a physical activity app. Another option is to use an electronic device such as a pedometer to calculate steps and distance.
Starting a walking program takes initiative. Sticking with it takes commitment. To stay motivated:
Set yourself up for success.
Start with a simple goal, such as, “I’ll take a 10-minute walk during my lunch break.” When your 10-minute walk becomes a habit, set a new goal, such as, “I’ll walk for 20 minutes after work.” Find specific times for walks. Soon you could be reaching for goals that once seemed impossible.
If you don’t enjoy solitary walks, ask a friend or neighbor to join you. If you’re invigorated by groups, join a health club. You might like listening to music while you walk.
Occasionally change your routine.
If you walk outdoors, plan several different routes for variety. If you’re walking alone, be sure to tell someone which route you’re taking. Walk in safe, well-lit locations.
Always try to get back on track.
If you find yourself skipping your daily walks, don’t give up. Remind yourself how good you feel when you include physical activity in your daily routine, and then get back on track.
Once you take that first step, you’re on the way to an important destination — better health.
The main thing is that you get out there, move around, and get some exercise in a way that’s gentle on your joints, your heart, and the rest of your body and that’s what walking will do for you.
Just give it a try and see if you don’t start to feel better, happier, and stronger after a few weeks of regular walks.
My hope is both your mind and your body will benefit from this post. If you love it, please share it.
So stay tuned. There are most posts coming.
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