There are so many options when it comes to staying active, but walking is by far one of the easiest and most popular ways to stay fit! For most people, it’s safe and easy to stick with as well as simple and effective!
Research shows that walking at least 150 minutes a week will:
Increase bone strength.
Improve quality of sleep.
Reduce risk of many diseases including diabetes and heart disease.
Improve blood pressure.
Reduce risk of depression.
So how do you get started?
First up, gear up. All you need to get started are supportive shoes and some comfortable clothes. If you are walking outdoors, keep cool by layering clothing. Shoes designed for walking or running are best, but not required. Just make sure you have a little extra room in your shoes (about half an inch).
Start with short distances, for example a stroll that feels comfortable (10-15 mins) and slowly build on your time or distance. Take a few of these short walks per week.
Focus on form. Head lifted, chest up, core braced and naturally swing your arms. And don’t forget to breathe. If you can’t talk or catch your breath while walking, slow down. Don’t worry about your speed at first, just get walking!
Add some variety and challenges. Try walking hills or incline on treadmill. Walking stairs is also a great way to burn calories and improve lower body muscle strength.
Most importantly, please listen to your body. If you have any pain or discomfort when walking, stop and check in with your doctor. You might find another activity like cycling or elliptical might be a better fit. Don’t give up though! Find the activity that is right for you!