You can get in great shape simply by walking. Yes, walking! You can walk your way to fitness. It can serve as the base for building up an aerobic base for health and fitness. Walking for health is simple, inexpensive, and easy. Your walking base can, if you want to, be used as a platform from which you can build more fitness for running or any higher level of a workout.
Walking Your Way To Fitness!
Here are some simple and important tips when walking for health and fitness.
1. Create a regular routine. When an activity shows up in our daily schedule, it gets done!
2. Work out from home or near home rather than driving someplace. Keep it simple and easy.
3. Don’t buy special workout clothes. You can if you want to, but just know it’s not necessary. Action trumps putting together a fitness outfit, so just get walking.
4. Wear good shoes. Good shoes are ones that fit properly and are not worn out. Learn what shoes work best for your walking routine!
5. Your workout should be easy. Don’t buy into the “no pain, no gain” mentality. This mentality can lead to injuries and cause you to quit your walking routine. Training your body to burn fat, which is the goal, is accomplished at moderate levels of intensity.
6. Diet and exercise go together. Eating a healthy diet lends itself to a more effective walking and exercise routine.
7. Keep your walking simple. Just walk. Don’t exaggerate your gait or carry weights.
8. Work out in a pleasant environment. Walk in a park or one quiet streets. Don’t walk on a busy road.
9. If possible, schedule your workout in the morning before you start your day. Getting it done early in the day means it gets done. Often the days get so busy you’ll have a tendency to skip the workout. Consistency is important!
10. What you eat before working out matters. Don’t eat sweets, refined carbohydrates, or fruit juice before working out. They can reduce fat burning. Sweets raise the hormone insulin which impairs the fat burning process. The calories you burn after eating sweets are sugar calories, not fat calories.
11.Make your walking workouts a time of peace and relaxation. Leave the phone home. Spend this time with yourself. If you walk with a buddy, keep the conversation about topics that are not stressful so that you don’t feel fatigued emotionally after your walk. Walking can be a time out or a time away from all else.
12. Don’t work out if your temperature is elevated. If you feel you are getting sick or fighting something, let your immune system do its job. Exercise can interfere with that process. Your body requires rest, not exercise, when you don’t feel well.
13. Don’t work out in extreme cold or extreme heat. Have an alternative plan during those days. You can do an indoor workout. It’s best to have a few indoor workout ideas for those times.
14. Don’t worry about how far you walk. Base your workout on time, instead. Start with a time that feels easy. Let’s use 20 minutes as an example. Build from there. With consistency you can up your time to 30 minutes, then forty-five. No need to go longer than an hour, unless you want to.
15. Start your walk at a slower pace to warm-up. The after 10 minutes or so, maintain a good, comfortable pace. End your walk the same way by slowing down.
16. Workout at least five or six days a week. Your body needs recovery time.
17. Don’t overtrain. Working out at too high a heart rate increases stress hormones. When overtraining your body perceives the stress the same way it does other stressors. Easy, low heart-rate workouts do not trigger a stress response. By not overtraining you build healthy fitness!
18. The most challenging part of getting started with an exercise routine is making time in your schedule. Changing habits are often perceived as difficult. It’s really a matter of deciding you’ll get out there and do it. Once the decision is made and you get started, the rest can be easy.
19. If you have a health condition or a concern that might restrict working out, ask your health care provider.
Benefits of Walking For Health, Longevity, and a High Quality of Life
The benefits of walking are endless in regards to longevity and quality of life. From lowering the risk of cancer and heart disease to greatly reducing depression and the risk of diabetes, it is truly the miracle cure everyone is looking for.
Walking may be one of the most underrated forms of exercise, but there are so many benefits:
- Helps with weight loss and maintaining a healthy weight
- Contributes to a healthy heart and prevents heart disease
- Increase your metabolic rate
- Strengthens your immune system
- Boosts your memory, energy, and mood
- Lowers cholesterol
- Builds bone and muscle mass
- Lowers anxiety and stress
- Keeps aches and pains at bay
It’s well-documented that walking can dramatically improve your health in addition to preventing sickness and disease. I could harp on it forever, but it could never compare to actually experiencing the benefits yourself!
Reap the many benefits of walking for health and make it a part of your everyday life. Start now and you’ll soon experience some significant differences and want more!
If you feel stuck and need additional support to adopt a new healthy habit or routine, consider working with me. We can partner up in setting goals, drawing on your skills and strengths, and implementing strategies to help you find your way to lasting healthy success.
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For over 15 years, Shelli has been a freelance writer and wellness coach on Joyinmovement. She writes about brain fitness, creating a healthy lifestyle, traveling the world, and making positive habits stick. Stop procrastinating! Take action, join her free newsletter.