Improving your overall health may be simpler than you might imagine. The act of walking is a great way to boost your cardiovascular fitness, improve endurance, and strengthen your bones. Walking may also reduce your risk of developing heart problems and help prevent type 2 diabetes.
Walking is free and doesn’t require the specialized equipment or training that many other exercises call for. Walking is easy to fit into your schedule, too! You’re also free to move at your own pace– walking doesn’t need to be vigorous to be effective!
This activity is great for everyone, especially those who are elderly, overweight, or getting back into exercise after a long break. A 2007 study of inactive women found that even just 75 minutes of exercise a week improved their levels of fitness significant compared to a group of non-exercising women.
Walking comes with a wide variety of health benefits, including:
- May reduce risk of heart disease and stroke
- May help with cardiovascular, heart, and lung fitness
- May Help manage hypertension, high cholesterol, and diabetes
- May Reduce body fat
- May help with muscle strength and endurance
Walking and Your Lifestyle
With all these health benefits, why not incorporate more walking into your day-to-day life? To unlock these benefits for yourself, start by walking for 30 minutes each day. Your pace should be brisk, meaning that you can still talk while you walk but can’t sing. You may find yourself taking deeper breaths.
One of the great things about walking is that it poses virtually no health risk. If you have a medical condition, however, talk to your doctor when implementing a new walking routine.
Some people may find it difficult at first to walk for thirty minutes at once. If this is the case, consider starting with three ten-minute bouts of walking throughout the day, then build up to longer sessions over time.
Building walking into your daily lifestyle is one of the best ways you can improve your health. Be purposeful about taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or parking further from your destination and walking the rest of the way. If possible, opt to walk or bike to work or local shops. Try to take daily walks in the morning, either by yourself, with a friend, or your dog. All these small actions add up to a healthier lifestyle!