One of the best benefits of walking is that it's cheap! It requires no expensive, specialized equipment. No need to sign up for an expensive health club membership. It's convenient: you may not even need to leave the house! If you decide to leave the house, just start walking and your good to go! You probably already have a good pair of walking shoes. If not, this should be a priority.
Additionally, walking requires no special training! You learned to do that years ago, remember? OK, so you did a few face plants, but you quickly got the hang of it and look at you now! You've got the routine mastered!
True, other issues may have appeared since you first learned to walk, but walking itself can help with many of those things as well.
Walking is safe because it has the least chance of injury. You may walk indoors when the weather is not so good, (shopping malls, for example) or outdoors and receive the additional benefits of fresh air and (hopefully!) sunshine.
Here in the Pacific Northwest where I live, sunshine is not a given during winters!
Just to be clear, we need to note the difference between walking and strolling, just to be sure we receive the full benefits of walking. Strolling might be characterized by a more casual walk and a leisurely rate of speed. For example window shopping or occasionally stopping to chat or admire the view might be a good example of strolling..
Walking, by contrast, is more purposeful and directed. Your arms are swinging freely at your sides and your breathing rate picks up. While you’re not gasping for air, you are able to keep up a conversation.
You should be able to walk about three miles in about one hour.
To sustain a walking regimen, it should be something you enjoy. Walk with your spouse or a friend – it would be nice if it were the same person! Many people walk their dogs or other pets for exercise.
The benefits of walking are numerous. Maybe the most obvious benefit is it helps to lose weight and keep it off. Our leg muscles are the largest muscles of the body, which can mean they can also burn a lot of calories.
Not only does walking help lose weight and keep it off, it also gets if off in the right places, like the belly, hips, legs and arms.
Walking is also a stress reducer. In our society stress is a major participant and walking helps take us away from our stresses and thus tends to bring on relaxation.
Walking can also help boost your mood and help with issues of depression. Brisk walking in the fresh air increases circulation to the brain and improves mental clarity.
I currently walk about 3 miles a day 5 days a week. It takes me about an hour to complete my route. I actually have several routes of about the same distance. Why do I do so much walking? For several reasons, actually.
First, I enjoy walking and have been doing it for years. I enjoy being outside in the fresh air. The temperatures here in the northwest United States are usually very mild.
Second, I have always struggles with my weight and walking seems to help in that department.
Additionally, I have recently been diagnosed as pre-diabetic and the doctor really put the "fear" in me. So losing weight is no longer optional for me.
I am very pleased with the New Balance shoes I wear. They have a boot (click here to see it) that I find very comfortable, although the heels are showing wear from all the miles I walk.
The other shoe that I like very much is Keen. I walk some with the Keen shoes too but I also like them for more casual wear.
Are you a walker? How often do you walk? How long does a typical walk take?
Do you walk a pet...or does the pet walk you? Actually, either way is OK because both help you receive the full benefits of walking!
Tell us about your routine below!
Do you have special walking needs? It may be helpful to Special Walking Needs. If you have questions, please scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on "Customer Service". They will be more than happy to assist you.
If you are recovering from an injury or fear an injury, you may wish to visit The Brace Shop. They offer a wide variety of braces including foot, ankle, knee, and shoulder braces to support you. They also have a toll free Customer Service line listed at the top of the page, so please feel free to take full advantage of that free service.