Finding the time to exercise can be difficult, especially if you are balancing career and family commitments. Oftentimes, we get so overwhelmed with everything going on in our lives that exercise is put on the back burner. But what we fail to remember is that exercise is one of the best methods for managing and reducing stress. So why not try walking as a form of exercise? It’s easy, free, and very good for you
Benefits of Walking
A 30-minute walk every day can work wonders. It can lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, reduce the risk of diabetes, help to manage weight and even improve your mood. Additionally, even though it is a low-impact type of exercise, walking can help to tone and strengthen muscles throughout the body, so you will see an improvement in muscle tone.
How to Begin
Getting started is easy, but it is recommended to take it slow if you haven’t been exercising lately. Start off slow for the first five minutes so you muscles have a chance to warm up. Stop for a quick stretch of your quadriceps, groin, hamstring, and calf muscles and continue your walk at a brisker pace. The last five minutes of your walk should be at a slower pace so your muscles can cool down. The only equipment you need to get started is a comfortable pair of running shoes. If you are keen to track your progress, a GPS watch or heart rate monitor may help. Additionally, if you are looking for more of a challenge, pick up your pace; walk at the beach on soft sand or try some steep hills to increase the intensity of your workout. Start off easy to begin with (so your muscles have a chance to adjust) and then slowly increase the difficulty level by walking more quickly or by heading for hilly areas. For optimal results you will want to complete a walk every day, but if you cannot fit this in try to have at least three longer walks (45 minutes or more) per week.
Make it Fun
For extra motivation you may want to invite a friend or group of friends to join you – it will certainly make the walk go faster! If you'd rather go solo, take music or an audiobook with you to help ease stress and tension; this will also help to clear your mind so you can concentrate on getting fit. Remember to breathe slow and evenly, and enjoy the scenery! One of the major advantages of walking daily is that you don’t need to concentrate on anything, so you can get to know your city and relax while improving your health.
Challenge yourself to take a 30-minute walk every day.
We’ll be talking about our daily walks on Facebook. We’d love to see pictures from your walks. If you see something beautiful on your walk, snap a photo and share it with us!