We all know how important exercise is when it comes to keeping us physically and mentally fit, but many of us don’t have the time or the energy for a daily workout. However, you don’t need a monthly gym membership to keep fit; walking is a highly underrated exercise that is both beneficial and addictive.
Keeping disease at bay
Brisk walking is a moderate aerobics activity that strengthens the heart and has been shown to decrease the risk of diseases such as type 2 diabetes, certain cancers and strokes. Unlike running, walking is a much lower impact exercise, meaning that it is excellent for maintaining joint health. Getting outside also provides you a daily dose of vitamin D. Let’s also not forget that this type of exercise helps to keep our bodies toned and can be a help a weight-loss program.
A simple walk
The average person walks around 4,000 steps per day, which is a good start, but if you’re looking to increase fitness levels you should be aiming for around 10,000 steps each day. For the average person, 10,000 steps is the equivalent of five miles. This may seem a daunting length for some but you can easily break it down into 15 minute segments and in quarter of an hour you should be able to walk one mile. A pedometer is an excellent device that will enable you to keep track of how many steps you take and also it makes it easier to set your daily limits. There are free exercise apps available for phones that will come with a pedometer feature, so you can start counting those steps straight away.
Make your walk less of a chore
There are plenty of ways to encourage yourself to get out of that chair and this can include walking to the shops or a friend’s house or taking your dog to the park. Even choosing to take the stairs instead of the lift, or window shopping around town will increase your daily step rate. If you’re looking to try the more challenging hiking or trekking then why not join a local walking club and get out into the countryside. Find affordable walking footwear as these will provide long-term health rewards and you can also use them on country walks abroad.
Walking is an exercise that can be undertaken by people of all ages and all fitness levels, offering an array of benefits. Stick to a daily rate but increase it when possible and you should see a difference in your fitness levels within only a few weeks.