Experts agree that walking is a great exercise. This is especially true if you are stressed out. If you are experiencing stress or would just like to get in shape, read this article. It will give you 7 great reasons to start walking today.
When I was a kid, walking was the major way for me to get anywhere I needed to go. Today it’s a different story because now it’s just a few steps to the car. In the past 50 years or so, as transportation options have become more available, walking has become an “exercise” instead of a regular activity.
Popular magazines are full of “walking programs” as if we suddenly forgot how to put one foot in front of another. Doctors often recommend walking to people recovering from heart attacks, who have high blood pressure or who suffer from arthritis.
Psychologists will encourage you to walk if you are feeling depressed, anxious or stressed. Health coaches and personal trainers will often set you up with a walking program as a beginning point for developing an exercise program.
Why walking? Well, its an easy exercise and you already know how to do it. Almost anyone of any age can walk at a normal pace and, if you’re very fit, you can train to be a race walker.
Here is why walking is the ideal exercise to help you get rid of stress:
1. It doesn’t cost anything – Walking is free! You don’t need any additional money to get started. All you need is a pair of walking or running shoes, clean socks and some comfortable, nonrestrictive clothing.
2. You can walk anywhere – You don’t have to go to a gym to walk. You can walk on the street, in the park, at the mall or around the floors of your office building.
3. Walking provides a low impact exercise option that’s great for building aerobic capacity. This is especially important when high impact aerobic exercises are too hard on your knees or joints.
4. It is easy to make part of your life. As you walk you’ll start finding easy ways to incorporate it into your life, such as parking farther from your destination or choosing to walk to nearby stores or cafes.
5. Walking is an easy activity to involve your friends in. Instead of making a lunch date, agree to go on a walk and have a light snack when you return.
6. Studies have shown that if you walk for only 30 minutes a day, 6 days a week, it helps cut heart disease risk in half. This can be extremely important if you’re suffering from extreme stress in your life.
7. You will look and feel better. Walking slows the effects of aging by keeping your body tone and trim. Walking outdoors can give you a nice tan and plenty of vitamin “D”, plus it provides oxygen to the cells that support healthy skin.
So if you are stressed, get on your walking shoes. If you are a type “A” personality and want to keep track of your walking, buy a pedometer to measure your steps. Then set a goal to add 500 more steps each day to your walking.
Whatever you do, start walking today. You’ll reduce your stress and walk your way into good physical and mental health.
By Wil Dieck