Walking has never had the same level of trendiness or excitement about it as other exercise methods. Who would want to walk when they can run, swim, practice yoga, dance zumba? It is written off as a dull, functional exercise that only warrants being considered if you’re going to do it anyway. In other words, if you’re going to walk to the shops then you can gloat about the health benefits it gives you, but you’re not going to go out of your way to deliberately fit a daily walk into your routine. Here’s why those preconceptions are all wrong, and why walking is the way to a healthier you.
It’s easily built into your day
We all need to walk – to work, to pick the kids up from school, to get to the grocery store. Instead of seeing this walking as nothing more than a chore and a means to get from A to B, seize the opportunity to exercise. The great thing about walking to get fit is that it needs no equipment and you can do it just about anywhere. Of course, the further, faster and more intensively you walk, the more benefits you’ll derive, but any and all walking is great for you, especially if you’re doing it in addition to your existing exercise plan. So the next time you consider driving to the cinema, the store or even the gym, leave your car keys at home and take a stroll instead.
It’s great for creativity
No matter what it is that you’re seeking inspiration for – a college paper, your life memoirs or a simple gift idea – chances are it’s going to be harder to find if you’re sat still. Creativity is scientifically proven to be boosted by exercise, and by walking in particular; just a short stroll has been shown to increase the ability to see a situation from a different perspective. Whether on a treadmill or out in nature herself, the creativity spike that you enjoy as a result of walking appears to last for some time after you stop exercising, too – and multiple short bursts of walking could give you even greater inspiration.
It stops you from sitting
Fact: every one of us spends too much time sitting down. And we don’t even sit like our ancestors in cross-legged or kneeled positions, which help maintain strength in the back, legs and glutes. Instead, we spend our lives slouching on chairs which has an adverse effect on our pelvises and our circulation. We spend as much as 21 hours a day sitting or lying down, causing reduced blood flow, increased blood sugar levels and more serious problems besides. Getting up and going for a walk is a simple and effective way to limit the amount of time we spend in sedentary positions.
Forget the idea that sweatier, more intense forms of exercise are the only ones that deliver health benefits. Build a brisk walk into your schedule on a regular basis and you’ll feel the results in lower blood pressure and blood sugar levels, reduced cholesterol levels and better moods. It stands to reason – what better way to wake up and put yourself on a good footing for the day ahead than to take a stroll at sunrise? With the natural high brought on from the release of endorphins and serotonin, walking is a great way to clear your head and get some perspective on life, and of course it gives you the opportunity to explore your local area too. What’s more, because walking is a low impact exercise, your chance of injury is low.
There’s no reason why walking can’t fit into your exercise routine in tandem with other ‘more exciting’ activities. To learn more about incorporating walking into your workout, talk to us.