June 12, 2019
Walking is one of the simplest and best exercises there is. For those of us who are able-bodied it’s easy — just put one foot in front of the other.
Walking doesn’t require any equipment, and you can do it anywhere. Our bodies are made to walk. And most of us enjoy walking, once we get going.
There are so many great reasons to walk. Walking helps prevent or improve type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke. It makes your bones, muscles and joints stronger. It’s great for our brain health too — helping improve memory and thinking, reduces the risk for Alzheimer’s, and helps prevent or improve depression. Becoming more fit also increases your energy and stamina.
Walking can also be a major boon for weight loss. Here are some tips to help you get started with a walking program.
As with any exercise, if you have risk factors be sure to check with your health care professional before beginning a new program to ensure that it’s appropriate for you.
STRATEGIES FOR SUCCESS
Set a doable goal. Decide how much time you are willing to commit to daily walking. Keep it realistic to start so that you can be successful with completing your goal.
Create a plan — and stick to it. Determine what time of day works well for you. Then, schedule that time in your calendar and set a reminder or alarm on your phone.
Keep a log of your workouts so that you can review your progress and results visually over time.
Find a good place to walk. Scout out safe routes outside ahead of time, or go inside to a mall or a gym.
Wear a good pair of athletic shoes. Be sure they still have plenty of traction in them.
Get a fitness tracker. People who track their steps take an average of 2,500 more steps each day. About 2,000 steps equal one mile.
Be sure to warm up. It’s important to prepare your body for exercise, to help you have a better workout and most importantly to prevent injuries.
-Information provided by BCBS.