Walking is one of the very best forms of exercise you can participate in. The benefits are so numerous just by doing a focussed 30 minute walk per day, in addition to any other movement you make for the day.
Some of the benefits are that we improve cardiovascular fitness. strengthen bone, reduce excess body fat, boost muscle power and endurance.
There are several other benefits too numerous to list here, but needless to say, walking is good for you.
Some of the reasons people don’t walk are: "I don’t have time", "I’m too tired", "I have aches and pains / injury" or are simply too lazy.
A couple of ways I have found that work to increase the amount of incidental movement that you do during a day:
- walk while you are talking on the phone
- park a little further away from the front of the store
- instead of waiting 10 minutes for the car at the entrance to move away
- take the stairs instead of a lift or elevator, (not if you work on the 35th floor of course).
- Find somewhere that is enjoyable to walk, maybe along a beach or river, in a lovely park
- find a friend to go with you, to kill the boredom (especially ladies you can cover serious distance while chatting)
- place the remote control to the tv on the cabinet so if you have to change the channel you have to get up out of your seat to do so.
Sounds crazy but it works.
Get a pedometer or a Fitbit or Garmin device, as the sense of achievement achieved as you watch the number of steps increase daily is so satisfying.
If you are overweight and it all looks too daunting, don’t kill yourself to start with, just take a gentle stroll. If you can't even see yourself walking around the block, don’t! Walk to the end of the street then decide if you want to go further. Slowly build up the levels cover, further distances first at a gentle pace then slowly increase the intensity. In other words, do longer distances, gently, slowly building up time on your feet rather than set out to cover the distance quicker.
It is amazing the cumulative effect this can have. My own case study I literally went from doing no exercise, to walking small distances, to increasing distances, to increasing intensity over shorter distances, to increased intensity over longer distances, to running a few steps, to running further, to running a marathon. Now don’t think I am challenging the world records for the marathon because I’m not! but that process literally took me 5 months from nothing. In that process I literally lost 35kgs on that journey due to an incredible eating program that I followed (not a diet), it changed my life and it started with a gentle walk to the end of the street. (If you would like to know more about the program just ask)
Now you may never have the desire to run a marathon, and I’m not for a second suggesting you should, but the life benefits to starting that initial stroll, finding a group of people who you could train with and the steps seemed so small to the next stage.