We all have those days where we’re just too busy, too sore or simply just too tired to get in our daily workout. Well the solution is simple, walking for fitness. Most of us don’t consider walking “exercise,” but it offers many of the same benefits such as lowering cholesterol, lowering blood pressure, reducing the risk of diabetes, managing weight, improving mood and remaining strong and fit. While walking doesn’t normally result in injury, it’s still important to keep a few things in mind:
1) The right shoes. Proper arch support and a strong heel are necessities when it comes to walking and running. If you aren’t sure what type of shoe is right for you, most running stores can recommend one.
2) Warm up, stretch and cool down. A brisk walk should start with a slower walk and stretching to avoid stress on any muscles. A 5-minute cool down walk is advised as well before finishing with more stretches.
3) Baby steps. For those trying to ease into a workout routine, walking is a great first step. However, remember to start small and work your way up to long walks if you aren’t use to walking distances.
4) Track your progress. It’s amazing (and inspiring) how you can actually tell the difference in your workouts when you look at them on paper. Keep track of your time, distance and even steps if you’d like (try a pedometer).
5) Bring a friend. Why keep all those health benefits to yourself? Anyways, a walk always goes quicker when you have someone to chat with.
So get out there and walk, Austin! You now have no excuse for missing a day’s workout, just step outside your front door and take a stroll, you’ll be happy you did.