We all know how important it is to get plenty of exercise – in fact, federal guidelines suggest aiming for a half hour of moderate activity each day.
While the easy answer seems like simply buying a gym membership, it’s just not practical, or affordable, for everyone. Running and jogging don’t really require any special equipment, but also aren’t for everyone. Some people with bad backs or achy knees simply shouldn’t go running, and other may actually prefer a visit to the dentist before running around the block. Well, maybe you should consider walking for your health.
Believe it or not, the health benefits of walking can be just as great as any other form of exercise. It all comes down to the specifics.
Walking For Exercise 101:
- Speed it Up: Is walking enough exercise? Well, yes and no. You certainly won’t see many benefits by simply taking a leisurely stroll after dinner. The key is all in your pace. The benefits of brisk walking are certainly tangible. Pretend you’re at the airport, running late for your flight! 30 minutes of brisk walking (on a flat surface) each day will burn 1,050 calories a week.
- Vary Your Pace: While most of your walking time should be at that brisk pace, vary your walk by accelerating and decelerating briefly every once in awhile. Research has shown that walking at varying speeds can burn up to 20% more calories than walking at a steady speed.
- Take an Alternate Route: A great way to lose weight by walking, is to vary your walking terrain. Walking on grass or gravel burns more calories than walking on a track, and walking on sand will up your calorie burn by 50%. Adding some small hills will also increase the benefits from walking for your health.
- Make it a Lifestyle: In addition to your daily brisk walking, aim to fit in extra steps throughout your day as well. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, park at the back of the parking lot, walk to nearby shops or friend’s houses. Every step counts!
Follow these simple tips to get started walking for your health, and talk to Wellworks For You about signing up for a Pedometer Program to track your progress!