Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Never underestimate the power of a good walk

Walking is one of the least expensive and most accessible forms of physical exercise. It can be adopted by people of all ages and abilities, requires no training and is a great benefit to your health. 

Walking isn't an exercise that leads to many injuries, although it's still a good idea to  equip yourself with proper fitting shoes and loose comfortable clothes. Whatever the weather conditions be sure to bring a water bottle so you can keep your body hydrated.

Start slow and grab a buddy

To begin, keep your pace a bit slower than normal to allow your muscles to warm up. Try to add some variation in your walk, if you are on a treadmill change up the incline and pace, if you are outside, climb some hills or stairs to challenge your body. Walking by yourself can be great, but you may be able to remain consistent with your walks if you include a friend or co-worker. Skipping out on exercise is harder if you have someone waiting for you outside.

I already exercise, why should I add walking into my schedule?
  • It allows the body to make small changes that strengthen your feet, knees and hips
  • Long, brisk walks can boost endurance
  • Walking as a form of cross-training gives your joints and muscles a break
  • It can aid in recovery from endurance exercise
  • Burns body fat, engages ab muscles, builds bone mass, 
  • Facilitates relaxation, improves mood, and reduces stress and fatigue
  • It can improve sleep quality, increase energy levels, reduce symptoms of anxiety, and improve cognitive function
Studies have also shown that adding just 30 minutes of walking a day reduces the risk of lung disease, osteoporosis, cardiovascular problems and obesity.  Making walking part of your everyday routine can be easy if you take the time to make it a priority and recognize that exercising regularly is essential for maintaining a healthy, happy lifestyle.

References from the SIRC Collection:

1. Crust L, Keegan R, Piggott D, Swann C. Walking the Walk: A Phenomenological Study of Long Distance Walking. Journal Of Applied Sport Psychology. July 2011;23(3):243-262.
2. Doyle-Baker P. Mall Walking: A New Strategy for Physical Activity Among Older Adults. Wellspring. February 2007;18(1):2-4.
3. Halvorson R. Join or Start a Walking Club. IDEA Fitness Journal. April 2012;9(4):14.
4. Have a Walking Lunch. Running & Fitnews. May 2012;30(3):15-18.
5. Lipsey D. An Inadvertent, Early Testimonial to the Benefits of Walking. Marathon & Beyond. July 2009;13(4):14-16.
6. Sugiyama T, Francis J, Middleton N, Owen N, Giles-Corti B. Associations Between Recreational Walking and Attractiveness, Size, and Proximity of Neighborhood Open Spaces. American Journal Of Public Health. September 2010;100(9):1752-1757.

1 comment:

aaren son said...

Ultimate post. Walking is very precious to our health. Thanks for this post.

Walking Aids