Walk your way to better health
Walking is one of the safest, easiest and least expensive ways you can exercise. Its effects on your overall health range from improvement in heart and lung function to increased lower-body muscle tone. Some of the other benefits include:
- Reduced stress and anxiety.
- Stronger bones.
- Higher stamina.
- Weight reduction.
- Lower blood pressure.
Studies show these improvements result from walking for only ten minutes, two or three times a day. It’s that simple! Keep reading for tips on walking your way to better health and well-being.
Are your shoes made for walking?
A good walking shoe should have a low heel, flexible sole and a grooved tread. Some other features to look for are:
- A well-cushioned sole, preferably half an inch thick under the front of your foot and one-inch thick under your heel.
- Mesh or leather tops for breathability.
- A roomy toe area.
- Lightweight design.
Stay on track
Keep yourself motivated by tracking your progress by miles, steps or minutes walked. You can use a pedometer, Fitbit® or mobile app to record your numbers. Ten thousand steps per day, or around five miles, are recommended if you want to see improvement in your health. This may seem daunting, but remember, this includes all the steps you take throughout your day.
Another great way to stay motivated is to walk with a partner. Recruit a friend, family member or coworker to join you on your walking trips. Scheduling time to walk and making plans to meet up on walking trails will help you stay active. Or you can even just check in with each other to report on progress. Accountability can give you that extra push you may sometimes need.