People often underestimate walking when it comes to a fitness regime, maybe because it is often considered a gentle exercise with not much impact on anything. In actual fact, walking is one of the best forms of exercise, a person can have and it has many benefits that are often overlooked. Here is a selection of them:
WALKING CAN ENERGIZE YOU
If you’re unfamiliar with regular exercise and take up walking, you may feel initially tired when you get home, but the increased supply of oxygen getting to your cells will ultimately make you feel more energized, giving you the ability to function better generally.
IT CAN HELP YOU SHED THE POUNDS
A brisk walk burns around 200 calories an hour and regular walking will also tone your lower body.
IT CAN STRENGTHEN YOUR BONES
Walking is actually classed as a weight bearing exercise (which means your legs and feet support the weight of your body). If you walk regularly, it can strengthen your bones and reduce the risk or effects of osteoporosis (a condition where bones become brittle and fragile).
IT IS BETTER FOR YOUR BUDGET
A lot of people will make the excuse of “not being able to afford it” when it comes to exercising. Whilst it is certainly true that you do need some money to join exercise/sports classes or to pay for gym membership, there is no reason why walking need cost any money at all. There is also no great outlay for expensive equipment (although decent footwear is strongly recommended).
You can do as little or as much as is necessary without it costing any more!
YOU WILL BENEFIT FROM A BETTER CONNECTION WITH NATURE
Being outdoors can improve your general wellbeing and concentration as well as improving your mood and lowering your stress levels.
IT IS GOOD FOR YOUR BRAIN
Although walking won’t fully guarantee against Alzheimer’s or dementia, it has certainly been linked to keeping your mind focused and sharp. It can raise your self-esteem and can reduce the affects of depression.
IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE BORING
One aspect that may put people off from walking is they think it might be boring. This needn’t be the case if thought is put in to where you want to walk, and how often. It might be an idea to set yourself some goals, especially if you are new to exercising, and to build up gradually.
If you enjoy your own company, perhaps you could listen to some music through headphones while you walk or you could listen to audio books covering interesting topics; or if you prefer the company of others, there are plenty of clubs around devoted to walking. You could always ask a friend to join you, as, if you chat away, you will hardly even notice that you are exercising.