These Shoes Were Made for Walking
By Selma Komisky
Nothing beats stepping outdoors, putting your tennis shoes on and hitting the pavement. Walking gives you a rush of feel good endorphins and reduces stress. Feeling tired? Start walking and you’ll start feeling less tired and more energetic. Stepping out doesn’t take any special skills or equipment and its also cost effective. Overall, walking is simply a great way to meet and achieve your daily activity recommended for good health.
The benefits of walking is that it helps lower your blood pressure, anxiety, depression, and lowers the risk of heart disease by improving cardio vascular health. Likewise, Walking helps maintain a healthy weight and helps a person lose weight if they are not in a healthy place. In both instances, walking is essential to build stamina and endurance. However, the goal for walking is better health not for vanity purposes.
If you have never been walking it is important to set realistic goals where you are at. Start out with 15 minutes at an easy pace and gradually add five more minutes each week. If for any reason you can’t walk 30 minutes at one time, break it up into five, 10 or 15-minute walks through out the day. According to researcher Michael Costanza, PhD biostatistician in an article on WebMD, “Walking briskly for longer periods will provide a fairly substantial boost in calorie burn.”
Remember to start where you are at and work to a moderate-paced level and then to a more intermediate level to challenge yourself (you can even try moving arms to slightly swing with your shoulders back or adding weights while walking later on). Jump start your fitness by going up an incline hill or trail. You can use a pocket pedometer, app, or Apple Watch to keep track of your steps. According to an article entitled, “The 20% Boost Program: Fit Walking into Your Life,” at http://www.psb.org, in a normal day we take about 1000 to 3000 steps (about a mile to a mile and a half) and your goal is to aim for 10,000 steps.
Try walking as much as possible everywhere! Get active and Moving!
Here are some fun walking ideas:
- Get a walking buddy and you won’t even notice how fast the time goes by. Talking passes the time
- Park your car a little further than usual to get those extra steps in motion
- Walk your dogs and they get exercise as well
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator
- Push your kids in their stroller
- Go to the mall
- Walk the local track
- Walk in a department store (like Walmart or Target)
- Walk around the block of your neighborhood
- Join a walking class at a community college
- Walk on a treadmill at home or in your gym
- Walk for your favorite charity
- Walk during your lunch at work (be sure to pack a pair of tennis shoes)
- Walk some trails up a hill (good incline workout)
- Do a walking DVD workout
- Do a prayer walk
- Walk along the beach
- Walk at the amusement park
- Listen to an audio book or bible study while you walk
- Enjoy good music while you are on move
Also, here are helpful walking tips to get started:
- Wear a good pair of tennis shoes
- Wear comfy loose clothing
- Drink plenty of water before and after working out
- Pace yourself – a good indication if you are ready to brisk walk is that you are breathing a little heavier but able to carry a conversation while walking and are not out of breath