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.
The other day while I was on a walk, I started thinking about ways I could break down fitness into digestible steps for beginners. As a personal trainer I’ve always put the highest value on high intensity exercise, and 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 way more, and was amazed by the clarity of thought I would get while walking, mixed with a general sense of well being when it was over. I felt way calmer and more focused, different from the “runner’s high” I was used to, and I have to admit that I liked it! So this week, 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.
The feedback that I got on this has been extremely encouraging! It was surprising to me how many people reached out to me to let me know how much of a difference this small change in their daily routine made to their general well-being. The effect was so positive that I think it incentivised most of them to continue the habit.
Walking is often overlooked as a form of exercise, but it’s so easily accessible that it’s time to start considering building it into your routine… if you haven’t already!
The research behind its effectiveness on your health is significant; here my top ten reasons to start walking:
- 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 we often have 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+min).
- 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 — you can start with just 10 minutes a day, and work your way up to an hour or more if you want.
So there you have it, folks! 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!