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Walk Your Way to Better Health

Updated on May 12, 2010

Almost all of us walk every single day, but have you considered walking to improve your health? Walking is easy to do, doesn't require any special equipment, does not harm your body and can be done anywhere in any weather. So why don't more people do it?

Walking will benefit you in many ways - both physically and mentally. Walking will reduce the risk of many problems such as coronary heart disease, osteoporosis, and diabetes. But more than that it will lower your blood pressure and cholesterol. Now to be fair, almost any form of exercise will do these things but walking is certainly the easiest way to get those benefits. Walking doesn't require a membership to a gym, a personal trainer or anything more than a pair of tennis shoes.

Walking will help you lose weight and get in better physical shape overall. It will improve your flexibility and stamina as well. Walking is also good for our mental well being. Exercise typically boosts a person's mood and getting outside and walking is one of the best ways to get exercise. Soak in the sunshine, exercise your muscles and breathe fresh air. This all helps reduce depression and anxiety. Whenever I start to feel a bit down or anxious, getting outside for a walk helps lift my mood.

In the United States we live a very sedentary lifestyle. The experts say we should all aim for 10,000 steps a day and they highly recommend wearing a pedometer to track it. Studies have shown that people tend to walk more when they wear a pedometer and I definitely find that to be true with me. You can purchase a pedometer at most stores for around $15.

So how can you ensure you are walking enough? Even if you don't wear a pedometer there is plenty you can do to walk more. Park at the back of the parking lot rather than looking for the closest spot, take the stairs rather than the elevator, or instead of calling your coworker down the hall, get up and walk over to talk to them. I try to be a very efficient person and will frequently combine trips around the house for things. I would get more steps in if I made separate trips and need to change my thinking along these lines. If you are chatting with your friend on the phone you could walk around rather than sit down and relax.

Of course if you want to get the maximum benefit from walking you need to walk fairly fast. The faster you walk the more exercise you get and the more calories you burn so there is something to be said in this. I do typically walk very fast when I walk my dog, but when walking to get the mail, or around the store or at church I tend to saunter. While this is better than sitting still it would be more beneficial if I walked faster with more purpose regardless of where I was. To get even more benefit you can pump your arms or even try speed walking. Did you realize that is a sport?

There are so many things you can do with walking. You can take short, quick steps or long slower steps. You can walk backwards or sideways to strengthen different muscles. You can raise and lower your arms to get a better cardiovascular workout. You can also walk with higher steps to work your legs and abs more. Whatever you do, walk with good posture and this will help your body to exercise more efficiently.

So start now. Get up and get moving. Figure out a way to fit more walking into your day. It is a great exercise that is very low impact, but yet a complete workout. Walking is truly one of the best exercises you can do for your health.

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    • suziecat7 profile image

      suziecat7 7 years ago from Asheville, NC

      In my old life, I used to be a mall walker. I walked 3 miles a day before work and felt great. Nice Hub.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

      Very good hub and I know I should do it more but I am so busy trying to get all my writing and household done. I will try and do it because I love walking.

    • Seakay profile image

      Seakay 7 years ago from Florida

      I like to bike ride but I would think walking gives you more of a workout. Guess I'll go pump up the flat tires on my bike!

    • profile image

      peacefulparadox 7 years ago

      Some of you may had heard of Dr. Andrew Weil. He says that walking is one of the best exercise.

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 7 years ago

      Walking rocks!

    • GALAXY 59 profile image

      GALAXY 59 7 years ago from United Kingdom

      Great hub, as someone who is trying to lose weight and get fitter I found this very helpful.

    • lctodd1947 profile image

      lctodd1947 7 years ago from USA

      Jennifer this is sound information. I have done it and yes it made me feel better and get some of the extra fat pounds off. I am trying to exercise more at this point as I don't have the best place to walk. I do walk in place sometimes because that helps also.

      Thanks for posting

    • Shona Venter profile image

      Shona Venter 7 years ago from South Africa

      Walking is definitely one of the easiest ways to get into shape - and one of the most cost effective. You also get to see a lot more of the world around you, compared to when you drive through the strees.

    • ezzy1512 profile image

      ezzy1512 7 years ago

      It's the plain fact. Great hub.

    • fishtiger58 profile image

      fishtiger58 7 years ago from Momence, Illinois

      I started to walk for my health 2 years ago and I have never felt better, I am up to 4 to 6 miles 4 times a week. Great hub.

    • 2besure profile image

      Pamela Lipscomb 7 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      I do desperately need to being to walk. I have problems with my hip and knees. Being more mobile will help. Voted up!

    • zotophe profile image

      zotophe 7 years ago from India

      Hi Jennifer. I knew walking is good but it produces such widescale benefits for the human body is awesome and eye opener to me. A recent survey by Reader's Digest in India revealed that Indians are prone to heart attack thrice as much as Europeans. We also have most percentage of diabetics in the world. Great hub and I would like to take the opportunity to ask you to allow me to use your hub's contents to make handouts to give to as many people as I could.

    • Granny's House profile image

      Granny's House 7 years ago from Older and Hopefully Wiser Time

      Great hub. I have voted up.

    • katiem2 profile image

      katiem2 7 years ago from I'm outta here

      What a great topic! You just keep coming up with such great and informative stuff. Peace :)

    • Brenco profile image

      Bren Brennan 7 years ago from North Texas

      Hi Jennifer!

      Loved this hub about walking. You gave many great tips. I especially like the one about while on the phone, walking instead of sitting. Goodness gracious you have a bunch of hubs! You have 4 young kids and you managed to pull this off. I can certainly learn from you.

    • 4FoodSafety profile image

      Kelly Kline Burnett 7 years ago from Fontana, WI

      Jennifer,

      Walking is critical. We have the largest and longest muscles in our body. IF we can tone our legs - our metabolism goes up! Great Hub for motivating on walking - our body loves movement.

    • profile image

      jhonson 7 years ago

      good hud.

      www.i-softwares.page.tl

    • suravajhala profile image

      suravajhala 7 years ago

      Very informative, keep posting such informative hugs. Thank u

    • Research Analyst profile image

      Research Analyst 7 years ago

      There has been studies that show that walking is the best low impact form of exercise that really helps with toning and cardio, thanks for sharing.

    • USMCwifey09 profile image

      USMCwifey09 7 years ago

      Another great hub. Some scientists also suggest that walking is more beneficial than running simply because it doesn't create as much stress on the knees and foot bones than running does. It's just a nice, EASY way to relax, and get your body healthy.

    • Wendy Krick profile image

      Wendy Krick 7 years ago from Maryland

      I'm a walker and agree 100%

    • profile image

      Dental Jobs 7 years ago

      Hi, Great article, really found it useful. I defintely agree with USMCWIFEY09, I work about 5 miles a day and manage it fine, but I have problems with my cruciate in my knee and running can sometimes make it swell and can cause pain.

    • midnightbliss profile image

      Haydee Anderson 7 years ago from Hermosa Beach

      brisk walking is a great form of exercise, walking 4.5 hours per week reduces heart disease and stroke by almost 30%.

    • profile image

      sbs sonuçları 7 years ago

      I found this informative and interesting blog so i think so its very useful and knowledge able.I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article. I am hoping the same best work from you in the future as well. In fact your creative writing abilities has inspired me.

    • lilypjmom2122 profile image

      lilypjmom2122 7 years ago from Minnesota

      I love walking...this is by far the easiest and safest form of exercising.

    • lilypjmom2122 profile image

      lilypjmom2122 7 years ago from Minnesota

      I love walking...this is by far the easiest and safest form of exercising.

    • profile image

      NelsonMuntzBB 7 years ago

      I love walking! I walk everyday!

    • fastfreta profile image

      Alfreta Sailor 7 years ago from Southern California

      Jennifer I truly appreciate this hub. Although I've been walking for several years now, but after reading this paragraph, ("There are so many things you can do with walking. You can take short, quick steps or long slower steps. You can walk backwards or sideways to strengthen different muscles. You can raise and lower your arms to get a better cardiovascular workout. You can also walk with higher steps to work your legs and abs more. Whatever you do, walk with good posture and this will help your body to exercise more efficiently,") I have a new outlook on walking. Thanks for this, rated up, and Dugg.

    • MPG Narratives profile image

      Marie Giunta 7 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      I try and walk 4 times a week with my dog, Sassie but there are times when I have to work longer hours so less time for walking. Really good exercise. Thanks for an enjoyable read.

    • CYBERSUPE profile image

      CYBERSUPE 7 years ago from MALVERN, PENNSYLVANIA, U.S.A.

      Excellent Hub, and I agree with you 100 %. Of course calory counting helps as well. Take in less than you expend. Good Hub

    • deancortez044 profile image

      deancortez044 7 years ago from Las Vegas

      walking is good! it's the best form of exercise. great hub. thanks.

    • profile image

      hattersmen 7 years ago

      I love walking and your hub is great !

    • bryansonners profile image

      bryansonners 7 years ago

      I used to walk everywhere but now i gotta dyno with the black mags

    • andygrant profile image

      andygrant 7 years ago

      Thanks for providing this useful information. Walking is really best exercise suitable for all ages.

    • JasonPrairieWeb profile image

      JasonPrairieWeb 6 years ago

      I've seen the effects of walking on health personally. When I lived in Chicago, I had to walk constantly. Now that I'm in the suburbs I don't as much and my weight has gone up even though my diet hasn't changed. Not only did walking keep me trim, it was a lot of fun and you experience the world in a much different way than if you just drive everywhere. You see new things, you interact with people, you make fun little discoveries. I encourage anyone who doesn't walk or bike much to just try making little trips and errands without the car. You'll notice a difference and it's mental as well as physical.

    • profile image

      sell my dental practice 6 years ago

      Walking is the way forward, i walk round the lake near me 3 imes a day

    • profile image

      Ken 6 years ago

      Hi Jennifer,

      Great advice!

      Walk Your Way to Better Health.

      I thought this new product might interest you.

      WALK-A-BIKE makes it easy to walk or jog long distances with the bicycle at his/her side. Walk your max without the worry of not being able to make it back due to, foot pain, leg cramps, or just plain fatigue. When you reach your maximum walking/jogging distance, just bicycle back. Adding bicycling to your fitness walking program provides a more diverse exercising routine.

      It’s a great motivator for the person starting a fitness walking program.

      Walking is a low impact exercise for toning your stomach muscles.

      It is also excellent for the avid walker who wants to increase their fitness walking exercise to the max 5, 10, or more miles.

      For seniors walking is a fitness program that’s easy to stick with when looking to get in shape.

      Drink lots of water and start walking for fitness, weight loss, and good health!

      IT’S ALL ABOUT LOSING WEIGHT AND GOOD HEALTH!

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