Walking. Perhaps one of the greatest paths to wellness…..
- Fitness – walking improves your cardiovascular fitness.
- Health risk – walking reduces your risk of heart disease and stroke.
- Silent killers – walking helps with the management of the three silent killers: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high blood sugar / diabetes.
- Bones – regular walking builds bone density and strength.
- Strength – walking builds muscle strength.
- Lean mass – walking increases your lean mass (muscle) and decreases your body fat percentage.
- Sweet cravings – walking has been shown to help curb those cravings for sweets and treats.
- Arthritis – regular walking can help to prevent arthritis and to manage & control it should it occur.
- Immunity – walkers have almost half the risk of getting colds and flu, compared to sedentary folks.
- Stress – almost any form of activity or exercise can help with stress, but walking is especially good here.
Most adults do 3000-5000 steps a day. The general and widely-used target is 10 000 steps a day. We think 8000 a day is a realistic initial goal. How many steps are you doing? There are many ways to walk more, here are 5 simple ideas:
- Park further away and walk.
- Take 5 or 10-minute breaks and walk a quick loop around the house or office.
- Walk the dog. Or get a dog.
- Go to the beach, or the park, or round the neighbourhood.
- A quick 15-30 minute walk is a great way to start your day.
We are sure you can think of at least 5 more good ideas that will work for you, and then you have 10 ideas to try…
You do not need fancy gear for this. Comfortable shoes are important – no high heels please. Dedicated walking or running shoes are best but a simple comfortable shoe is fine for all but very long walks. We suggest starting at a pace you feel comfortable with (you should be able to maintain a conversation), only starting to push the pace a bit once you have been walking regularly for at least a month. Please ask your doctor if you are unsure about whether you can walk safely, and certainly if you have been completely sedentary for more than 6 months.
We are designed to walk, we can walk, it’s good for us in so many ways, and it’s not difficult……what’s stopping you?