I was reading in some article that just 30 minutes of walking every day can drastically increase cardiovascular fitness, strengthen bones, reduce excess body fat, and boost muscle power and endurance. It can reduce your risk of developing conditions such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis and some cancers. Amazing, isn't it? Interestingly most of us are aware of this fact, still wait for the “right” time to seriously indulge in any physical activity. I know few of my acquaintance occasionally stroll in local neighborhood streets; however it lacks any real commitment. As a result, it seldom turns into a daily routine.
As a runner, my emphasis is always on brisk walking or jogging because unlike some other form of exercise, walking is free and doesn’t require any special equipment or training. It’s also a great form of physical activity for people who are overweight, elderly or who haven’t exercised in a long time. Being active can help you stay healthy, control your weight, and get the most out of life. No matter what your age or condition, walking or jogging at varying pace will always help. The best part about it is that you can make it an enjoyable and social part of your lifestyle.
The main benefit of walking is derived from the fact that you carry your own weight when you walk which is known as weight-bearing exercise. Major benefits include stronger bones and improved balance, release stress and hypertension, increase muscle strength and endurance etc. Most of us have a high BMI (Body Mass Index) which is the main cause of many health issues. Walking or jogging can severely reduce the BMI by cutting body fat.
Here are few suggestions to build walking or jogging into your daily routine -
- Set up a goal to participate in a 5k walk/run once in a while. Register for a charity walk.
- Use a pedometer to measure number of steps you take every day. Make sure to cover at least 5000 steps every day.
- Walk (don't drive) to local shops or friend’s house in the neighborhood.
- Walk with family member or friends.
- If you want to stick close to home and limit your walking to neighborhood streets, pick different routes so you don’t get tired of seeing the same sights.