I love to walk. I love getting out there in the outdoors, taking in all the fresh air, listening to the birds, feeling the wind blow in my face and just trekking out my 5/6 mile goal 3 times a week. I started walking about 7 years ago. I decided I wanted to be healthier and I wanted my children to join me so we hopped in the car and visited Eagle Creek park 3/4 times a week. I had built my endurance up so much I started sprinting some of the hills on the trails we would walk.
I’m not there anymore but I still get my butt up and walk in the summer. It is one of my favorite things to do when the weather breaks. Here are 10 reasons why you should start walking today.
When you walk you don’t need a gym subscription, buy weights or even pay to enter a park. If there are sidewalks or pathways in your neighborhood you can use http://MapMyFitness.com and map out your own courses or just get out there and walk. See what your body can handle. I started with 30 minute walks a few times a day with my Akita Nala and the graduated to 5/6 mile walks that take about 2 hours to complete about 3/4 times a week.
Every winter I gain weight mainly because I can’t get out and walk like I want to but when spring and summer hit, I get back out there those pounds come right back off. Did you know that walking 5/6 miles at a moderate pace can burn from 850 to 1000 calories? Yup. Now I’m not saying your goal has to be as big as mine, you can start with 30 minutes a day and build up to what feels comfortable to you. My goal is to get 5/6 miles in at a minimum of 3 times a week. I walk at a moderate pace and I see results every week 1 to 3 pounds a week.
Whenever I feel bad mentally, depressed or sluggish, walking puts me in better spirits. It gives me time to think without interruption and clears my mind. Most people will find that they feel more positive and that walking puts them in a better mood. Happy walking right?
Everyone loves toned legs, so even if you don’t see muscles forming under your skin your legs do look better when you walk consistently. Your gut goes down, those fat rolls start to disappear and you look better in your clothes. I’m all for looking better in my clothes.
Walking 30 minutes or more up to 5 times a week can lower the risk of Type II Diabetes by 60%. Walking also lowers blood pressure by 11 points, reduces the risk of stroke by 20% to 40%, lowers the risk of Cardio Vascular disease by 30% and also lowers the risk of Dementia. If you have a history of Diabetes or Blood pressure in your family. Walking is one of the easiest exercises you can do to help prevent the onset of both of these health issues.
Many people are Vitamin D deficient from sitting in front of a computer all day. Getting 10 to 15 minutes of sunlight 3 days a week will give you an ample dose of Vitamin D. You don’t need cows milk…. Being Vitamin D Deficient can cause Osteoporosis, Low Immune system and Fatigue. So get out there, walk and get some sun on your skin.
Exercising is a natural energy booster. Walking improves circulation and increases your oxygen supply. Taking a walk during lunch instead of a nap can help you get through your day with an improved energy level.
Many people with Arthritis have stated that walking 30 to 60 minutes a day has helped improve the pain in their knees and hips. It reduces stiffness and inflammation, lessens the stress on your joints and helps improves arthritis symptoms. Walking also helps you lose weight which also reduces stress on your joints.
Walking improves Gastric mobility which keeps you regular and a clean colon helps boost the immune system. A study in Japan also found that walking in wooded areas can help increase the production of Natural Killer Cells. Trees and other plants release phytoncides to fight of insects and harmful germs. By breathing in these phytoncides it assists the body’s production of Natural Killer Cells. These cells have been found as a natural way to reduce the risks of cancer and improve the immune system.
Walking 30 minutes a day can improve your mood and boost self esteem. Walking also helps the release of endorphins; these endorphins reduce pain and stimulate relaxation. The more endorphins your body produces the more relaxed and calm you will be, making you feel good and rest easier.
I hope this post has motivated you to get out there, be heathy and walk. Do a few 5k walk/runs for a good cause and have some friends join you just for fun. If you live in Indianapolis or Fishers I have included some routes via MapMyFitness to get you started. Even if you don’t have the fitness app I just want you to get outside, start walking 4 times a week so your body can benefit from all the wonderful things walking can do for you.
Love and Hugs