Without the luxury of a vehicle, 8-a.m. obligations leave a guy in a tough situation. Do I hit the snooze, condemning myself to an unyielding sprint to my destination? Never. Summer is here and underarm sweat is still out of style. Instead, I am forced to get up in plenty of time to walk to school or work. While some days my walk is slow-paced and pleasant, other times it is rushed and a bit more hectic. Either way, my daily form of transportation not only reliably gets me to my destination, it also provides me with the exercise I need to stay healthy.
Although my walking habits stem from a transportation need, walking is an effective and practical form of exercise that can be used by everyone. Walking is one of the simplest ways to exercise every day and it can even be worked into a daily schedule. Plus, it’s free!
So what does walking really do for you? Brisk walking is an aerobic exercise. It increases your heart rate and strengthens your heart, lungs, and muscles. It can even lower your blood pressure and help you manage your weight. While brisk walking provides better exercise, a slower, short-term pace accompanied with a set of goals can help anyone work up to a longer, faster walking routine.
Here are some tips to help you get the most out of walking:
- Set up a routine and gradually work up to 30 minutes of brisk walking per day
- Walk with family, friends, or co-workers to stay committed and focused
- Join a walking club or group
- Include walks in family outings
- Use a pedometer or step counter to track your steps and progress
Starting and sticking to a daily walking routine is a great way to get the exercise you need to stay healthy, but not everyone has the same ability or motivation to do so. Here are some tips to get you walking throughout the day.
- Get up at least once an hour at work to walk around
- Park your car farther than usual from your destination to increase your daily step count
- Walk around the house or outside during TV commercials
Since I started walking on a daily basis, I have noticed several benefits in my life. I have been able to stay fit and healthy by maintaining an effective walking regimen. I have noticed that I am more awake and alert when I walk to my destination and I can easily be on my feet for extended periods of time without fatigue or discomfort. My leg strength has increased and my walking endurance has greatly improved. For me, walking represents not only a form of transportation, but also an easy and legitimate way to stay healthy.
Do you walk to stay healthy? If so, how do you include walking into your daily schedule?