If you are struggling with getting more active, increasing your steps / day or just want to add more exercise to your routine Walking is an affordable and fun way to do it. Needs commitment? yes! Needs effort? yes! Nobody says it is easy, however, it can be done, it is at your doorsteps and it is free!
If the weather helps walking outside is one of the most rewarding activities. It increases your endorphin’ levels leaving you with a healthy happy feeling. Also, at the right pace, helps burn calories and is a great exercise for your heart. If the weather is not nice or rains there is always the malls to go to and you can add the reward of a latte at the end.
A regular (3 times a week) brisk walk helps you:
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Prevent or manage various conditions, including heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes
- Strengthen your bones and muscles
- Improve your mood
- Improve your balance and coordination
The faster, farther and more frequently you walk, the greater the benefits.
It is important to walk with the correct posture to avoid hip pain or tension in different muscles. Here is a graphic way to see what and where we need to pay attention to:
Well, you need some preparation, easy though. Check you have the appropriate gear, specially comfortable running shoes.
Plan or think your route and set a realistic goal. If you have not walked or exercise for a while, a 2-3 minutes slow walk followed by a 10 minutes brisk walk could be good enough. However, if you have already some recent training you could repeat that sequence twice. After one week usually we feel comfortable with our routine so it is time to increase, a 50% increase minimum is a good idea, to double the amount if you can is great!
Make it Fun
Engage friends or neighbours in your walk. Everybody is looking for ways to become healthier and feel better. Don’t be shy and ask or send a text message or a short email. You can be surprised with the answers. You can also get new ideas of routes or places where to go.
Most people have smart phones these days. They come with a pedometer or a form of counting your steps. Make it more fun counting your daily steps and sharing with your friends. Ideally you need to aim to 10,000 steps per day. And the more, the better!
In the end the most important is to make that decision of going out and adding some steps to your day!