You’ve read hundreds of times, if not thousands of times, how beneficial walking is to your health. You know it’s true and you know you should get out and do it, but maybe the benefits haven’t really sunk in yet. I will admit that I totally take for granted the amount of walking I do in a day. But when I started working on the farm, I put my Fitbit to use and got at least 15000 steps in before 2:30 pm every day. Now that is a lot of walking.
Walking is the easiest form of exercise. You don’t need any special equipment or clothing. Yes, you may want some decent shoes, but walking barefoot has some advantages, too. I will talk about that in a bit. Unless you have some physical ailment or you’re in a wheelchair, walking is definitely the one exercise you can do. In most cases, you don’t even have to learn how to do it. You already know how.
One thing you may need to change is your mindset. Too many people think if they can’t start walking five miles a day, it’s not worth doing. The truth is, it will take time to work up to that if you’ve been sedentary for a long time. You can start by simply walking to your mailbox and back if you live in a neighborhood with a driveway. If that doesn’t seem far enough, but you’re afraid to get too far from home due to being in poor physical shape, then walk to the mailbox twice. Keep building that up and eventually, you’ll get out of your driveway.
After you’ve walked your driveway a few times, maybe it’s time to walk to your neighbor’s house down the street.
The point is, you don’t have to start out walking long distances. Start with what you can do. Do it every day and then, every week or two, increase the distance by a little more. Your health is worth it. Once the weather gets cooler, Gracie and I will be walking the campus at school when I pick her up. It is great mother daughter time and a great way to sneak exercise in.
So, let’s cover some of those benefits, in case they haven’t sunk in yet.
1.Walking improves circulation.
Sitting around too much can lead to blood clots in your legs. Walking stimulates good circulation so blood doesn’t pool in your legs and lead to blood clots. The calf muscles act as sort of a pump that gets the blood back to your heart. Simply getting up and walking around the house every half an hour can be very helpful. And I will so admit that this is something that I need improvement on.
2. Walking improves bone density.
As you age or lead a sedentary lifestyle, your bones become weak, thin and brittle. Walking every day can help strengthen your bones and keep them from losing density. You want to be able to use your legs well into your old age, so start taking care of them now by getting out and starting a walking program.
3. Walking can lead to a longer life.
With improved circulation and heart health, you extend your life expectancy. Keeping in shape, by walking, will help you ease into your senior years gracefully and keep you fit enough to get out and enjoy retirement.
4. Walking increases your mood.
If you suffer from light depression, walking is an excellent way to help you feel better. It causes your brain to release endorphins, the feel good hormones. A daily walking plan can help decrease depression and also put you in a more positive mood.
5. Walking can help you lose weight.
It may not burn a ton of calories, but burning any excess calories off is a good thing. Walking tends to have a domino-like effect on weight loss. It does take time to see the weight loss, but every little bit helps. I have lost a few pounds over the summer.
6. Walking strengthens your muscles.
Your legs and abdominal muscles are important, as they both carry your whole body. Keeping them in shape gives you a better quality of life and good muscle tone helps burn more calories. Your joints also benefit from stronger bones and muscles and walking helps keep them lubricated. You may experience soreness, especially when you first begin a new walking program, but over time the soreness will go away.
7. Walking improves your breath.
Breath is another part of your life. Walking helps strengthen your lungs, helps your body to replace oxygen and getting your lungs in better shape means you can easier expel any type of phlegm. It also means colds and other respiratory ailments can heal quicker.
If you haven’t started a walking program yet, why not? It’s super easy, there’s no learning curve and no fancy equipment to buy. All you have to do is make up your mind to do it, and then step outside your front door and take a walk. With all the benefits mentioned above, you can see why so many people love walking. It’s beneficial to people of all ages. It’s especially beneficial to start regaining your health after long periods of being inactive. And it is probably the easiest form as well.