The other day while I was walking my dog, I started thinking about ways I could break down fitness into digestible steps for beginners. I’ve found that most people tend to build exercise into this huge event. It “requires” special clothes, you get sweaty, you need a place to do it and there is never enough time to get everything done. That seems like a lot and can seem overwhelming, right?
As a personal trainer, I’ve always put the highest value on high-intensity exercise. I never put much value on walking — until last year, when I broke my arm and couldn’t run, bike, or do much of anything at all. I started to walk more often and was amazed by the clarity of thought I would get while getting my step on. Not only that, I always had a general sense of well-being when done and back at my apartment. I felt way calmer and more focused — which is different from the “runner’s high” I was used to — and I have to admit… I liked it! So back in March, I invited my Instagram followers to join me on a walking challenge in the hopes that some of my tribe would reap some of those same benefits.
Why we need to get stepping
The feedback that I got from the walking challenge was extremely encouraging! It surprised me how many people reached out to me to let me know how much of a difference this small change made in their days — and how they felt overall in their daily routine and general well-being. The effect was so positive that I think it incentivized most of them to continue the habit of a daily walk.
The research behind its effectiveness on your health is significant — yet it’s often overlooked as a form of exercise. But it’s such an accessible form exercise that it’s time to consider building it into your routine… if you haven’t already!
Top 10 reasons to incorporate walking in your fitness routine
- Walking will increase your base cardio and help your heart get stronger.
- It’s a great way to get out of the circular thinking patterns, and can reduce stress.
- It can help you sleep better and make healthier choices throughout the day.
- It helps your bones get stronger and reduces your chance of osteoporosis.
- Walking is great for lowering your blood sugar, and is helpful for fat loss if done in longer intervals (40+ minutes).
- It can reduce your risk of diabetes and heart disease.
- Walking is low impact, easy on your joints (and will help their longevity).
- Walking is a great way to visit with friends! Grab a buddy for your walk or call that friend you never have time to catch up with.
- It’s free and available to you — no matter where you are!
- Walking is good for you even in very small doses. Start with just 10 minutes a day, and work your way up to an hour or more.
So there you have it, friends! In my opinion, walking is one of the best forms of exercise because it’s free, accessible, and super beneficial to your health and well-being. The general guideline for walking is to get 10,000 steps in a day — but always remember that some exercise is better than no exercise. Don’t build exercise up into an unattainable goal in your head. Walking is a great way to get fit and stay healthy… and now you have ten more reasons to try it!