Fall in Love with Walking

Benefits of Walking

Walking for Health, the easy way to fall in Love with Exercise.

Walking is one of the best ways to keep you healthy.

  • It lowers your blood sugar levels which decreases your risk of diabetes.
  • Blood pressure will also take a dip.
  • You will find your waistline again.
  • Strengthens your bones, and
  • Raises your spirits.


I’ll show you how to get into a stay healthy routine, and if you start out correctly it could start a love affair with simplest fitness method on earth.

You will not have the same level of fatigue that a more vigorous exercise such as running or weightlifting generates.

If you are sedentary and have been so for some time, you need to start off slowly aiming for shorter distances, which will allow walking to embed itself as a habit, making it part of your routine for life.

A slow start, bringing with it its wellbeing benefits, is undeniably better than a quick start and fast burn out.

Top 10 Benefits of a Morning Walk

BEST EARPHONES FOR WALKING, JOGGING OR RUNNING, THEY WON'T FALL OUT!
BEST EARPHONES FOR WALKING, JOGGING OR RUNNING, THEY WON'T FALL OUT!

Health Walking


How to Fit Walking into your Schedule


Find a suitable place to walk, flat terrain, smooth surfaces and minimal traffic. As a newbie, walk for around 30 minutes per day, three times a week. Easy, but try to do it when it's light to get the added benefit of sunlight and vitamin D. This exercise does not have to be done first thing – it works at anytime!

Yes, you can Squeeze it In

  • A 30 minute walk with your dog early morning or late evening?
  • Two 15 minute loops around your local park or School
  • A 30 minute walk on the treadmill at the gym or at home, set on a slow speed.
  • A 15 minute walk around the block both the morning and evening.
  • Lunch time walks during the office break for either 15 minutes or 30 minutes.


Music while you Walk - Wellbeing Playlist.

If you are easily bored from low key activities, make a playlist that either gives your mind room to wander or reflect on your life, your next holiday, buy audio books or, make a motivational playlist with a beat.

Listening to music while you exercise can increase endurance by up to 15%, as it distracts the part of your brain that focuses on fatigue.

Music stimulates the endorphins, the chemicals that boost your mood naturally and bring on a feeling of wellbeing.

Now you can slip into your exercise regime and remember just 15 to 20 minutes of daylight on your skin can up your Vitamin D intake. This assists in lowering blood pressure, strengthening the immune system and boost serotonin to lift moods and help chase away the blues.

Don’t expect to see fast results as walking is about making healthier lifestyle choices and a change that should be maintained indefinitely. It is not a quick get fit or lose weight fast scheme.

Simple Yoga Walking

Meditative or Yoga Walking

Save the power walking until you are ready to change. Meditative or Yoga walking will enhance walking enjoyment from day one.

As you walk, really feel the ground under your feet and how every muscle moves you forward.

Meet every sensation and savour it. Feel the weather, hear the sounds, take in the scenery, be aware of the smells, take notice of each one and give it your full attention. Notice the flowers, birds, butterflies, plants, the pattern of the clouds, an interesting leaf, see the different textures. If stressful thoughts intrude push them aside.

Fully focus for 25 minutes of your walk. Let all thoughts come and go as they please and see how relaxed you feel.

Find a mantra. It can be anything that’s positive such as ” I love life, I feel relaxed, empowered and happy” Repeat it as your walk.

A well tuned into your surroundings walk will calm and de-stress you. If the anxiety returns, remember how you felt at the end of your walk. Try it for a few days to get you into the walking vibe or alternate with more dynamic walks when you need a dose of TLC.

Source

Know how to Walk

Sort out your walking style to get the most out of your walk and ache less.

Keep your posture upright, neck and shoulders relaxed

Bend your arms at the elbow, with hands lightly clenched.

Pull in your abdominals and tuck in your behind by pulling the pelvic floor up, but keep a natural arch in the back. It helps trim your tummy and prevent back pain.

Look straight ahead and not at the floor in front.

Swing your bent arms slightly

Put your heel on the ground first, then roll through to your toe and push off.

Don't pump or puff or walking will become a chore and a bore.

Pick an Easy first Walk

Ensure that no matter how far you are from the starting point, you are able to get back. Perhaps walk in a circle, an oval track, or a 20 - 30 minute figure of eight around your home. That way you are never too far away.

Pay attention only to the time you walk not the distance, faster and farther walks come with experience.

Set yourself a 20 minute walk - walk 10 minutes and then turn around and come back. Try, on your way back, to shave a minute of your time thereby giving yourself a little push.

Interval Training

When you have worked yourself into a general routine, vary your walk by increasing your pace for two minutes and then slow back to your normal pace for two minutes. Every third day (or every week), add another pace increasing interval, walk fast for four minutes then rest for two. As the pace intervals become more vigorous, increase the rest interval.

Hydration:

Ensure that you're well hydrated an hour before walking as you don't want to become dehydrated. It may be convenient to take a bottle of water with you so you can stay hydrated throughout your walk.

Common Walking Mistakes - Walk for a full Workout

Don't Rush to buy Trainers

If your trainers cradle your heel, lace to a snug fit and have a box toe with room, about 1 cm, to wiggle your toes, are flexible and breathable - they will do.

Enlist a Friend

It's sociable, and talking is a terrific way to work out your speed.

If you can chat easily, you're strolling, relaxed, and it's a delightful way to get into walking.

If the conversation is tricky and you're puffed - then you're walking at a medium pace with a mild workout, balanced between healthy and happy.

Only managing a few words? Then you're giving yourself a workout. If you want to build stamina, get fit and lose weight you'll need to keep up this pace.

Ambition - Walking for Fitness

If your style feels right, your spirits lifted, perhaps you can ramp up your walking.

  • Walk more often - four or five times a week
  • A Hike? A longer walk, an hour or so, with friends and somewhere different over the weekend.
  • Once you can comfortably walk 45 minutes, try other areas, where you may encounter hills, stairs or declines which will increase the difficulty of your walk.
  • If you're walking for weight loss and aerobic health this will come through sustained effort, not through increased speed or distance.


When none of these suggestions exhaust you, perhaps it's time to gear up and get into fitness walking, join a club or do a couple charity walks with a purpose.

© 2012 Shelley Watson

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Comments 30 comments

tjdavis profile image

tjdavis 4 years ago from Moscow, Texas

Great hub and I love walking myself. I love waking outside. It seems to always clear the mind and lift the spirits.

Voted you us and will share and also place a link back to you on my website. :-)


CyberShelley profile image

CyberShelley 4 years ago Author

tjdavis, Thank you so much for visiting and your marvellous comments. I really appreciate your vote and generous share. Thank you again.


mperrottet profile image

mperrottet 4 years ago from Pennsauken, NJ

I hope your wonderful hub encourages people to take up walking as a form of exercise. I love to walk, and get so much enjoyment out of it. I do yoga every morning before my walk, but never thought of doing yoga walking. What a great idea - I'm going to try it. Love your hubs. Voted up!


tipstoretireearly profile image

tipstoretireearly 4 years ago from New York

Along with listening to music, I've found that walks are the best time to listen to podcasts. Great hub!


CyberShelley profile image

CyberShelley 4 years ago Author

mperrottet, Thank you so much for your wonderful comments and the vote. I am glad it gave you a new idea to try, I hope it brings a new dimension to your every day walk. One tip under yoga walking which I didn't add, was for Tension; Think of all the numbers 1 -20, see them all in your head, watch as they drop down into your chest, and visualise them tumbling down into your abdomen, then into your legs, continue to visualise them tumbling into your feet, and visualise them and your tension leaving underneath your feet and laying on the ground behind you.


rabia kamran profile image

rabia kamran 4 years ago from pakistan

nice hub


Mama Kim 8 profile image

Mama Kim 8 4 years ago

I love walking ^_^ hate running... but love love walking! My husband and I always argue whether to drive or walk to our local park. It's only a 10 maybe 15 minute walk but he always insists on driving. Sometimes we go separately, lol. I love all your tips and reminders for walking. Music is definitely a great option if your looking for a workout. Voted and shared ^_^


starstream profile image

starstream 4 years ago from Northern California

I walked this morning but since your hub inspired me it seems like a wonderful idea to go out again this evening and get moving.


europewalker profile image

europewalker 4 years ago

Fantastic hub, I love walking and try to do it as often as I can. I can't wait for cooler weather, it is just so hot here that if I don't start walking by 7:00am I don't get it done. Voted up and awesome


CyberShelley profile image

CyberShelley 4 years ago Author

Mama Kim 8, I too don't like running, it's the sweaty stuff that gets to me! I do admire runners and joggers though and wish I felt differently. Thanks for the interesting comments, votes and share.

Starstream, How wonderful to hear that, thank you so much for telling me!

europewalker, Thank you for visiting and your comments. I am an early bird and in summer it lovely to walk around 5.30 or 6 am, when the world is still and the only noises you hear come from the birds! Thanks for the votes.


Mhatter99 profile image

Mhatter99 4 years ago from San Francisco

Thank you for this' Next to swimming I used to love to walk (then bike riding). But I live in a very diverse area.


Karry Campbell profile image

Karry Campbell 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

Great hub! I walk 1 hour every morning. It makes me feel so much better. I love it because I get to see what's going on in the neighborhood that I never notice when I'm in the car. I pass an elementary school every morning, and I've noticed a lot of moms walk their kids to school and then join up and walk around the giant block the school is on several times together. Thanks!


FullOfLoveSites profile image

FullOfLoveSites 4 years ago from United States

I really love walking! I walk from home until I get to a local town. Plus it saves me from ride fare. Voted up and useful :)


locknloaded81 4 years ago

Very nice hub Shelley. Everyone should be motivated to walk because it gives plenty of health benefits. Regular walking lowers cholesterol levels that can harm your heart, and if you are not like to to walk keep motivated.. like walk with your spouse, friend, neighbor or pet to make it more interesting.


KellyMediaBest profile image

KellyMediaBest 4 years ago from Tampa, Florida

Walking is the easiest form of exercise for anyone to do. If getting in shape is intimidating, or you are very overweight, doing anything to improve your fitness is a step in the right direction. More people should know about the health benefits of walking. The first step is the hardest.


girishpuri profile image

girishpuri 4 years ago from NCR , INDIA

I am very much fond of walking and fortunately the area i live is full of green trees and this is the most enjoying time of my day and bonus is, when i chat with my morning walk mates, useful hub. thanks


CyberShelley profile image

CyberShelley 4 years ago Author

Mhatter99, Swimming was also my favourite but I don't do to much of that anymore (truth be told, I need a license to show off my bod these days, I just cannot dazzle anyone with my glaring whiteness as there's not a trace of a tan) ha ha. Living in San Francisco you do have a lot that's open to you. Thanks for the visit.

Karry Campbell, thank you for visiting and I enjoyed reading your comments!

FullofLoveSites Thank you so much for stopping by, you must be really healthy, lucky you.

KellyMediaBest, the first step is the hardest, but as you say it has so many benefits. Thank you so much for visiting and your great comments.

girishpuri, I am so glad you stopped by, I too live in a very green area with lots of trees and birdlife. It makes such a difference to a walk. Thank you for your comments.


carol7777 profile image

carol7777 4 years ago from Arizona

Great hub with many good ideas. Walking is wonderful for all the reasons you sited. We walk and ride bikes both. A little change is good. Being outdoors with nature is wonderful. Voted UP.


DDE profile image

DDE 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

I enjoy walking the best of all exercises for me living the countryside it is such a lovely experience to just get out for an hour daily. Voted up!!


CyberShelley profile image

CyberShelley 4 years ago Author

Hello DDE, so nice to hear from you. Croatian countryside is so beautiful you are very lucky.


butterflystar profile image

butterflystar 4 years ago from A Place of Success :)

Awesome :)


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 3 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

Love your practical, flexible, easy going approach to building walking into your life. So many of us start out so gung ho at something that we end up hating it and giving up. Great Hub. :)


CyberShelley profile image

CyberShelley 3 years ago Author

phdast7, Thank you for stopping by. Quite right too, as you say if you do too much and hurt yourself, you will probably never go back to the sport or exercise.


DDE profile image

DDE 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

Walking is my best exercise, I do my best in the winter but during summer I enjoy my daily walks in the countryside with freedom I have I can walk happily.


ryanjhoe profile image

ryanjhoe 3 years ago from Somewhere over the rainbow

I enjoy walking regularly in the morning because indeed it will help us to be healthier in life. Doing regular exercise have many benefits for health. Nice hubs, very informative!


CyberShelley profile image

CyberShelley 3 years ago Author

So glad you stopped and commented. Thank you.


hawaiianodysseus profile image

hawaiianodysseus 3 years ago from Southeast Washington state

Hi, Shelley!

I got off the couch on January 1st, and this husky potato can now walk for 5-10 miles at a time without any problem. Seriously, though, I wish the pounds would drop faster, but I just gotta stay focused and remain patient. The main thing is that I'm utilizing the right Law of Inertia at this stage in my life--I'm moving! And the funny thing is that the walking has actually raised the quality of my writing. I'm actually using parts of my brain that had been dormant for so long.

I love your writing, my new friend, so I am going to do a very wise thing and opt in as your latest follower. Aloha, and have a great evening!

Joe


CyberShelley profile image

CyberShelley 3 years ago Author

Joe, this is great news and thank you for adding depth to my hub.

I need to lose 10 kgs to be closer to the weight of my youth! Recommended to me was to watch the sugar (I've taken mine down from 2 teaspoons per cup to half a teaspoon in coffee and tea), and the carbohydrates. Avoid breads and consume a minimal amount of pasta, potatoes, rice etc. I lost two kg in just over two weeks by being strict, and I will continue as I feel I have more energy! Perhaps this could help you too.


Availiasvision profile image

Availiasvision 2 years ago from California

I feel very inspired to get out and walk more. I like the part about the importance of 20-30 minutes a day of sunlight to boost vitamin D.


renee21 profile image

renee21 14 months ago

I love taking my dogs for walks. It is so healthy for all of us(I have two dogs). I always feel so healthy, happy, and energized after walking. Great hub! Voted up.

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