The great thing about walking for exercise is that you can do it anywhere. You have absolutely no excuse for not getting up and walking around for at least 30 minutes a day.
So it’s raining out? Take an umbrella! Seriously, just get out for a short walk around the block a couple times and you’ll thank yourself for it later.
If it’s absolutely miserable out, just walking around your house or apartment a while is better than nothing.
Walking for exercise is an extremely low impact, and so anyone of any age can do it safely and frequently without worrying about damaging themselves.
Running and other more strenuous forms of exercise can cause all kinds of joint pain and soreness, and isn’t recommended unless you are in otherwise good shape.
A lot of recent studies into different forms of exercise are showing that walking is every bit as good for you as running or other more vigorous exercises, you just need to do it longer.
If you are walking for exercise, go for at least 30 minutes or even an hour. The more the better, as you can’t hurt yourself by walking too much.
There are a lot of exercise programs that are beginning to realize the benefits of walking for exercise.
As it is something virtually anyone that can walk can do, there is a huge target market for walking programs.
It is recommended, any program that motivates you to walk frequently. Even without one, there are hiking and walking clubs all over the place to join.
Not only can walking for exercise be a way to maintain good health, but it can be a good way to meet new people and form new networks.
With so many benefits and almost no cons, you can’t go wrong with walking for exercise. Its only drawback is that it takes time to do, but it is time well spent.
Get into the habit of walking!
Find ways to include this low impact exercise in your routine. Check some tips below to learn more.
We were designed to walk for miles and miles to hunt and gather our food. Yet, in modern society, we spend most of our time sitting down. That is not good for our bodies leading to a host of health problems.
This is probably one of the most important reasons to make an effort to move around and go for a walk each day.
If you haven’t exercised in a while or are looking for something easy you can do every single day give walking a try.
Walking is the perfect low impact way to exercise.
It’s easy to do, you don’t need any special equipment and you can start at the fitness level you’re at.
Of course, that’s easier said than done. Most of us sit for our work, we eat sitting down, and to be honest all we want to do when we come home from work is plop down on the couch for a Netflix marathon until bedtime.
In other words, getting and staying in the habit of going for a walk each day can be a bit of a challenge. But that’s exactly what we need to do.
We need to get in the habit of going for that walk just like we’re in the habit of brushing our teeth twice a day or taking out the trash on Tuesdays.
Once it’s a well-ingrained habit, it won’t be as much of a challenge to make sure we go for a walk each day.
If you’re not in the best of shape, start by going for a 10 or 15-minute walk around the neighborhood and work your way up from there.
If you’re already in great shape, walking can still provide an effective workout. Walk fast and incorporate some hills and even stairs.
But, let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. If you’re like most of us, chances are you haven’t exercised much since you got out of college and need to start small.
Maybe your doctor suggested that you move around more, or maybe you just want to be proactive about your health and well-being. In either case, walking is the perfect way to start.
Find a pair of comfortable shoes, put them on and go for a stroll through your neighborhood.
You could also find a local park with a nice path you can walk on. If the weather doesn’t permit walking outside, head to your local mall and walk or hop on a treadmill.
Another great place to start is to find a walking route you enjoy.
It helps to make it as easy as possible. Your favorite walk may offer beautiful vistas, but if it’s a 30-minute drive there and back, you’ll be less likely to do it every single day.
Instead, save that walk for the weekends and come up with something convenient and pleasant for your everyday walking routine.
If you can, find a route in your own neighborhood so you can leave right from your front door. Just lace up your shoes and start walking.
You can even walk in place at home in front of your TV. Here’s a simple little idea to get you moving more.
As you’re sitting on the couch at night watching TV, get up during commercial breaks and march in place until your favorite TV show comes back on.
If you’re using a service like Netflix, make yourself walk in place for 10 minutes in between episodes.
Or turn on the TV and challenge yourself to march in place during the entire show. Time will fly while you’re having fun watching TV and moving.
Speaking of having fun, going for a walk outside can be a lot of fun too. Mix up your route and walk in different areas of town, or visit different parks. Invite a friend to come along with you to walk.
It’s always nice to have someone to talk to and having a walking buddy keeps you accountable.
Last but not least, grab your phone or MP3 player and listen to music or audio books as you walk to make the time go by faster.
Listening to your favorite music, podcast or audio-books is also helpful.
It will make the time go by faster and give you something else to look forward to. You can even use your favorite media as a way to bribe yourself to go for your daily walk.
Let’s say you have a couple of podcasts you enjoy. Save them for your walks and only let yourself listen to them while you’re walking. It’s a great incentive to get out there even on days when you’re not feeling it.
Or simply walk to enjoy the natural surroundings.
A better use of walking is to increase one’s sensual awareness, particularly if you are in a natural setting. Use all your senses to gain a greater appreciation of your environment.
Learn to read the countryside with your eyes – the broader canvas painted by glaciers and erosion, the impact of humans and especially older traces thereof; the presence of old habitations, field walls and drains, quarries, gravel pits, decaying fence posts, second growth forest.
Watch for animal tracks and signs, listen and try to identify bird song, the drumming of woodpeckers, the rustle of creatures rummaging in the undergrowth, the sighing of wind through the trees, the first flowers and buds to appear, shapes and patterns in the clouds.
Feel the shape and texture of bark, flowers and leaves (but learn to identify and avoid poison ivy).
Smell the aroma of freshly mown grass, the varying scent of new flowers, the rich scent of different fungi, decaying wood and leaf mold, the warm air from the south, and the cold, crisp air from the north.
Likewise, consider walking with other people. Find a walking group in your area, or talk a friend or neighbor into becoming your walking buddy.
Not only is it more fun to walk when you have someone to talk to, it also has some built-in accountability.
It’s much easier to skip a walking workout when you know that other people are waiting for you and relying on you to join them.
A walk is a great way to share valuable time with family, friends, and colleagues. Rather than always going out on your own, ask someone to join you.
Next time you have meetings why not take it outdoors? You may well find that the fresh air will help you ‘think outside the box’ and inspire greater creativity.
Walking and hiking is an easy way to meet some wonderful people and many clubs offer hikes especially for singles, dog owners and others.
For those seeking to blend a physical challenge with fun, orienteering is the ideal participation sport for young and old.
Called a “thinking sport”, it involves a combination of map reading and decision-making skills. There are levels to suit all ages and skills, in addition to enjoying a great workout.
Walking vacations are becoming an increasingly popular mode of exploration. Rambling through the countryside gets one closer to its heart than any other mode of travel.
Close your eyes awhile and imagine the scent of wild rosemary and sage assailing your nostrils as you brush past these herbs on a trail in France, or the coolness of a mossy glade in an Irish oak wood.
Birds and other wildlife flit around you, while all the while you are absorbing information imparted by your guide on the local history and culture.
Hiking uphill to a castle or a town gives you a greater appreciation for what life might have been like there during the mediaeval period, or why that situation was chosen in the first place.
And your reward? Arriving at a shady tavern for lunch, ordering a cool drink, then sitting and perusing the menu of fresh, locally produced foods.
Exercise for Charity and for Health
There are some ways that you can pick up your efforts with these charities and get a little bit of exercise at the same time.
One of the easiest ways for you to do this is to either take part in or sponsor a walkathon, a form of walking marathon that helps to raise awareness for the charity and to make some money for it at the same time.
Although these can be set for any length, they often go for 10 miles or more, a distance that will give you an excellent amount of exercise.
By taking the lead in one of these charitable events, you will help to keep yourself motivated and may motivate many others to get out there and exercise a little bit.
Another way that you can benefit from one of these charitable events is by making sure that you are ready for the effort that you will need to put forth.
Some people who realize that they’re going to have to walk these long distances make sure that they walk on a regular basis ahead of time so that they are physically fit.
This is one of the best motivational techniques that you can have at your side and will surely help you to make sure that you are walking, whether it is for your health or for the health of others.
Give these tips a try and see if they help you make walking a daily habit and an integral part of your health, your fitness, and your life.
The main thing is that you get out there, move around, and get some exercise in a way that’s gentle on your joints, your heart, and the rest of your body and that’s what walking will do for you.
Just give it a try and see if you don’t start to feel better, happier, and stronger after a few weeks of regular walks.
Taking the same route every day helps form that habit. It’s also encouraging to notice that you can walk the same loop faster or with less effort over time.
It proves that you’re making a difference, getting stronger and increasingly in shape.
Walking is not only one of the most convenient exercises that can be done. It is also one of the most effective.
If you can somehow find the time to put in a half hour every day in the mornings and a half hour in the evenings, your health will be drastically changed in a months’ time.
Give it a try, you have nothing to lose but some fat.
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