The Benefits of Walking- Healthy Moves

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Be a Fitness Walker for Life

Walking is one of our most basic skills we acquire as a toddler. At the beginning of our lives we are so eager to learn how to be mobile that we creep and crawl until we gather up the courage to stand on our own two feet and take that first step. As scary as it may be, we stumble around and fall quite a few times but this does not stop us, we get back up and try again.

Throughout our childhood we not only walk, we often run with exuberant force and we are so vital and present in the world. We often participate in daily gym classes in school and often partake in outside sport activities as well. It is easy to see why many of us where in such great shape as kids.

As we get a little older we have a lot of necessity walking to and from college classes and then we may be participating in some type of physical activity which keeps up fit and energetic. It is the middle part of life and beyond where we begin to slow down and become less active, but it doesn't mean you should stop exercising.

Walking is an exceptional form of exercise you can do every single day of your life. There is no age limitation to this activity because it is low impact on joints and muscles and very enjoyable too!

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HERE ARE SOME OF THE MANY BENEFITS OF WALKING:

* Improved mental state of mind

* Lowers your chance of developing Alzheimer's Disease

* Weight loss or help to maintain a healthy weight

* Stronger bones and muscles

* Improves sleep

* Improved health~ of major organs such as the heart and lungs

* Lowers your risk of developing type 2 diabetes

* Lower cholesterol

* It can help you quit smoking

* Reduces stress

* Increases your ability to fight of illness

* Increased energy levels

Have I convinced you yet? Do you think you could benefit from any of the advantages of walking? Certainly everyone has something to gain from walking. Another really nice thing about walking is that there is a relatively low investment to walking. You find the most comfortable clothing you have in your closet, (usually shorts or sweatpants and a t shirt) and a good pair of walking shoes. You can good sales on walking shoes if you look around and some people like to wear running shoes or cross trainers.

The other great thing about walking is that you can do that just about anywhere! I sometimes go along with my husband when he has a business meeting and I find trails and nice areas to walk around while he works. The most pleasant time of year to walk is spring and summer. When it is too cold or too hot it can be a little bit of a challenge but still not impossible. For the impossibly hot summer days, either get up early and take your walk or walk after the sun has gone down. And for winter walking, find a jacket that wicks away the sweat and throw on a hat and gloves and hiking boots/shoes usually are the safest bet if you are dealing with any kind of icy conditions. Another really fun way to walk in the winter is with snowshoes! Did you know an average sized person can burn up to 500 calories per hour? That is a significant workout and I plan to get some next winter and take to snowshoeing.

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Walking tools~ Necessity and Optional Items

Hydration System

Don't forget to hydrate before and after you walk, it is key to keep your body nourished with water and helps to improve your walk experience. Either find a water bottle that has a strap so you can carry it or look in a sporting goods store for the type of water system that you carry on your back like a back pack. If you choose not to carry water just be sure to hydrate before you leave and after you return home.

Walking poles


Some people like to walk with walking poles. The poles are a way to have stability and increase your workout by getting your arms, back and shoulders. The walking poles can also intensify the workout and lend support to your back and hips as you walk. I personally have never used walking poles but I think it could be a great way to amp up a walk.

Hand and Ankle weights


You can add to any walking workout by holding small hand weights, there are also weights that you can secure to your ankles which work the legs a little extra too.

Socks


It is important to buy socks that fit comfortably and are able to breathe as you walk. Socks that can wick away moisture are also more suitable and comfortable. I have a pair of socks that actually even give heal and arch support too! Look around you can find some pretty nifty socks.

Fanny Pack


It is a good idea to wear a fanny pack for long distance walking so you can store bandaids, a cell phone, water and anything else you might need without the worry of having to hold onto it.

Heart Rate Monitor


There are many types of heart rate monitors out there that are a nice extra tool to keep your heart in a safe zone while you walk. Monitors are more widely used with runners but it's not a bad idea for a walker to also wear one.

Pedometer


A pedometer is inexpensive and can really but a fun tool to see how far you have walked. I personally use a pedometer and like to see what I have accomplished after the walk. Check any discount store in their fitness section.

iPod or MP3 Player/CD player/Radio


I find for solo walking I enjoy bringing along my iPod. It is a great asset to have the music to motivate and keep me feeling energetic while I walk. I need to say that if you are going to wear anything on your ears while you walk, it is YOUR responsibility to watch out for cars at intersections and when you are crossing the street.

Stretching


I have included a link to some simple stretches you can do before and/or after your walk. It's important to stretch so you can ensure your muscles won't tighten up.




Make Walking a Lifetime Activity

So, I am hoping by now that I have encouraged you to give walking a try! It's the life long activity that really is good for you. If you don't believe me, ask just about anyone, from doctors, to trainers to life long walkers, they all can share their experiences with you and ensure you it a safe and satisfying activity.

So, get out your shoes and TAKE A WALK! Happy Walking everyone, here's to a happy and healthy life!



** Please remember if you are new to exercise or have any kind of heart condition you might want to check in with a doctor first. **


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Comments 12 comments

shiningirisheyes profile image

shiningirisheyes 3 years ago from Upstate, New York

A wonderful activity for which I am a huge fan of. I can not count the amount of times my dog and I go for a walk and I return with a better attitude. I find a good walk (for me) is my cure-all when I am experiencing a hard day.

Thanks for the hub and you provided some useful tips. I live an isolated area so besides my dog, I bring pepper spray as well.

Voting up


cre8ivOne profile image

cre8ivOne 3 years ago from Midwest, USA Author

Thanks for stopping by Shiningirisheyes!

I love walking and have been doing it for exercise a majority of my adult life. You bring up a good point that dogs are great walking companions. Safety is always an issue so a dog can help with that. I tend to walk with someone in areas that are new especially the first time or two. Happy walking to you my friend!


ronaldoh profile image

ronaldoh 3 years ago from England

Walking is natural and great fun. I agree with you and thanks for the new tips and healthy moves!A simple and easy exercise that i very underrated, it's a shame that many people spend time and effort on many exercise programmes that are not guaranteed to benefit them.


cre8ivOne profile image

cre8ivOne 3 years ago from Midwest, USA Author

ronaldoh

Thanks much for stopping by this hub. You are very correct, some fitness trends are just that, a trendy thing that fades away after time with no real proven benefits. Walking can always be counted as a good and safe fitness option. Happy Walking !!


mr-veg profile image

mr-veg 3 years ago from Colorado United States

Cre, I am totally in, walking is the best exercise and serves as a catalyst towards natural support for diabetes. Morning and evening walks are so refreshing, I slowly was straying off line, your hub will bring me back in line !!


cre8ivOne profile image

cre8ivOne 3 years ago from Midwest, USA Author

Mr Veg

I thank you kindly for stopping by and reading my walking hub. Walking really is so beneficial and I am glad you are inspired to get back out there and walk!


Millionaire Tips profile image

Millionaire Tips 3 years ago from USA

I really enjoy walking as well. It makes no sense to me to pay for a gym membership when there are plenty of ways you can exercise for free. Voted up.


cre8ivOne profile image

cre8ivOne 3 years ago from Midwest, USA Author

Thank you Millionaire Tips!

I couldn't agree more. I think gym workouts are great too but walking is something we can do throughout our lifetime!


lyns profile image

lyns 2 years ago from USA

Excellent hub about walking since it is the summer again and I had gotten away from walking as much this hub is very timely for me thanks for sharing it. Voted up /+ lyns 7314 1041a


cre8ivOne profile image

cre8ivOne 2 years ago from Midwest, USA Author

Thank you lyns I am glad you enjoyed the article. I admit during my winter I don't walk, but love to try to get 4 miles in as many nice days as I can. :)


lyns profile image

lyns 2 years ago from USA

Cre8ivone: that's great 4 miles your in great shape I have to do baby steps I use to walk 7 miles everyday expect weekends and I could tell had so much energy, etc. Have a good one. lyns


cre8ivOne profile image

cre8ivOne 2 years ago from Midwest, USA Author

You'll get back there and 7 miles is great! I occasionally walk more and less just depends on the type of day I am having. It's all good, we do what we can and that's what's important!

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