Since the dawn of mankind, people have walked. It is one of the easiest, most natural things you can do - yet with cars, buses, trains and escalators easily available, modern technology has made it a less favorable option for getting around. And because of this, people walk much less often today, perhaps less than at any other time in the history of humanity. But if you’re not walking enough on a daily basis, you’re missing out on some serious health benefits. Here’s how walking is good for your body, and a few suggestions for doing more of it.
Benefits of walking
From boosting your energy levels to lowering your risk of disease, there is a long list of benefits you can gain from walking. Here are a few of the more notable ones.
Strengthen your heart - according to the Stroke Association, a brisk 30-minute walk everyday can reduce your risk of stroke by up to 27 percent.
Lower your disease risk - not only does a daily walking habit reduce your risk of developing a variety of cancers by 20 percent, but you’re also 60 percent less likely to be diagnosed with type-2 diabetes.
Tone your booty, legs, and tummy - walking does all three, especially when you opt for more a strenuous walk, such as climbing up or down a hill.
Boost your energy - who wouldn’t like more energy? A brisk walk raises your energy levels as it increases circulation and boosts the oxygen supply to all cells in your body.
Make 10,000 steps the goal
Whether you’re trying to lose weight, quit smoking or walk more, if you don’t have a goal - and milestones to check in on how you’re doing along the way - then there’s a good chance you will end up accomplishing nothing. So make it a goal to walk 10,000 steps a day. To help you accomplish this, here are a few ideas to get started.
Try a pedometer - yes, pedometers can look a bit silly, but they are the perfect way to track how many steps you take each and every day, which is important if you want to reach your step goal.
Increase your steps slowly - don’t go straight from 2,000 steps a day to 10,000. While doing this is certainly possible, you are less likely to stick with a consistent walking routine (which is the real goal) if you do too much too soon. So instead, try adding 300 steps a day until you make it to 10,000.
Add a walk to your daily routine - taking a walk is not only a good way to increase your steps for the day, but it’s also an easy way to clear your head and relax, free of the usual daily distractions (as long as you don’t bring your phone along, that is). So consider incorporating a daily walk into your schedule. You might do this in the morning before you go to work, or in the evening after dinner.
Find creative opportunities to walk - finding opportunities to walk is easier than you think. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
- Walk to a coworker’s desk to chat instead of picking up the phone or emailing.
- Walk your children to the bus stop or school.
- Get off the bus or train one stop early, and then walk the rest of the way to your destination.
If you’re looking for more ways to incorporate walking into your day, or are serious about developing an exercise routine, call us today to talk with one of our fitness experts. We’re happy to help provide you the resources and motivation you need, to have you looking and feeling better than ever in no time at all.