The Benefits of Walking- Healthy Moves
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!
- Put One Foot in Front of the Other - YouTube
From the stop-motion animated Christmas classic - Santa Claus is Coming to Town, Here's put One Foot in Front of the Other. Sung by the voice talents of Mick...
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
- Foo Fighters. Walk. - YouTube
Buy Wasting Light here http://bit.ly/ftbVXi Tickets for rock shows here http://www.foofighters.com/us/tour
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.
Walking tools~ Necessity and Optional Items
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- Stretching for Walking
Stretching for walkers - a stretching routine for walking.
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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