You’ve probably heard that walking is great for your health, at least that’s what the health and fitness experts tell us. Let me share a little of my own experience of the benefits of walking with you.
I used to hate exercise. I saw it only as a way to work off the food I’d eaten and did it under sufferance. But that was years ago and things have changed.
Now I exercise every day because I’ve seen and felt the amazing benefits exercise brings. I’m also ageing and have become aware that I need to “move it to lose it” by increasing my movement and aerobic exercise.
There are a myriad of ways to exercise, but if you’ve been sitting on the couch a little too long**, walking is an ideal way to get started. It’s low impact for those of us with joint issues and it’s certainly something we all know how to do. You can begin with a short walk and build your distance further as you become used to walking.
While the gym is great for toning and shaping your body, walking has a range of benefits you can’t get inside the four walls of the gym.
** You should consult your medical practitioner before starting any exercise program.
Here are 5 reasons why walking is great for your health
1. Walking is enjoyable and easy to do
I really enjoy my walks – they make me feel happy and set me up for a great day.
Anyone can walk, anywhere, any time. You don’t need special equipment, other than a pair of supportive shoes. A pedometer, or step tracker, such as a Garmin or Fitbit is great to track how many steps you’ve done and to help you increase the distance you walk over time.
2. You can do it alone or with friends and family
I enjoy walking with a friend, as we chat while we walk and catch up on what’s been happening in each other’s lives. Other times, I embrace the quiet solitude that a morning walk provides
If you have children, take them with you in a pram or on a bike/scooter, or go for a walk on your own before they get up in the mornings.
3. Walking can take you to new places
There are many walking paths you may not have explored if you’re used to driving everywhere. Park the car, or better still, leave it at home, and take a walk. You never know what you’ll discover in your own neighbourhood. You can walk just about anywhere and go in any direction you like – walking is flexible like that.
4. It’s free and you can enjoy the fresh air and experience nature
Forget paying expensive gym fees when you can walk for free. Walking gets you outside, in the sunshine and fresh air, which is good for the soul. We often come across beautiful flowers, cockatoos, lorikeets, water dragons and other lizards and the occasional snake – eek! That’s when you’ll see me running!!
Another aspect I really enjoy is walking at sunrise. I carry my phone with me and take photos of the pre-dawn sky and the sunrise, which is incredibly different every single day. I even produced a calendar featuring my photos late last year :).
Getting out in nature makes me appreciate all the natural beauty I have all around me. We are so very blessed to live in an area of great natural beauty. We have a gorgeous coastal walk which stretches from the mouth of the Tweed River along Duranbah Beach, up to Point Danger, around Snapper Rocks, along Rainbow Bay, around Greenmount point, along Coolangatta Beach and northward to Kirra, Bilinga and up to Tugun and Currumbin (around 15km return if you’re keen).
5. It keeps you fit and healthy
Walking can help with losing weight and maintaining a healthy number on the scales. By increasing fitness and losing weight, we have the potential to prevent or manage chronic conditions such as high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Walking is a load bearing exercise, so it can help strengthen bones and muscles, as well as improving mood, balance and co-ordination.
One of the goals I’ve set for myself this year is to walk further and faster, which will help increase my fitness and maintain my weight loss. I’m aiming to do the Byron to Ballina Charity Walk in May. The walk starts in Byron Bay and you can choose to walk 12km to Broken Head, 24km to Lennox Head or 36km to Ballina. I’ll decide which option I’ll take closer to the walk time, but it’s a great challenge to have. A walk such as this is something I would not have attempted a couple of years ago, but now that I’m used to walking every day, I feel fitter and more confident.
By improving my health, I hope to be around a little bit longer, so that I can enjoy life that little bit more.
That’s how I’m Lovin’ Life this week – how about you?
There are many more reasons why walking is great for your health. If you also enjoy walking and you’ve experienced another benefit, please share it in the comments box below.
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