One Step At a Time… Why We Should Be Walking More.
From the very start of life, we were made to roll over, to sit, to crawl, we were made to walk, we were made to MOVE. Walking is the oldest and most simplest form of movement that most of us have the privilege of being able to do. It supports our health and wellbeing physically, mentally and can be socially as well, which is why most of us would benefit from doing more of it!
There is nothing a good walk can’t fix, and there are numerous ways you can plan it out to make it a pleasurable experience if you currently are living a sedentary lifestyle and find the thought of starting a regular walking routine quite daunting.
My first tip would be to change up your environment, explore new sceneries! If you’re not motivated to walk in your neighbourhood, why not go for a walk in the park or try a new hiking trail? Maybe walk down the beach? And perhaps bring a friend to come along, or use it as bonding time with your furry little friend?
Some prefer to join a walking group to get more engaged in the community. However, if you prefer walking by yourself, but still find it quite boring... don’t worry, there are ways to work around that too. Try go for a stroll with good music in your ears or listen to a podcast, that may make it more enjoyable for you.
Walking brings on so many health benefits! And once you get started, you will notice that this will always be time well spent and works most effectively in improving your overall quality of life.
15 BENEFITS OF WALKING 30 MINUTES PER DAY:
• Reduces risk of heart disease
• Increases lung capacity
• Helps to maintain weight & prevent obesity
• Reduces risk of diabetes
• Reduces anxiety & improves overall mental health
• Helps lowering blood pressure & cholesterol levels
• Improves quality of sleep
• Increases the body’s access to Vitamin D
• Improves postural control, coordination & balance
• Reduces likelihood of falls
• Reduces risk of cancer
• Strengthens your muscles and bones
• Minimises and prevents low back and neck pain
• Boosts your immune system
• Improves overall Quality of Life
In addition to the many benefits just outlined, walking also clears the mind!
It gives you time to practice self- care and reflect on the day. It allows the space to spark creativity and new ideas. Besides… has any of you ever gone for a walk and come back not feeling a bit more refreshed than before? Didn’t think so. Your body and mind loves walking.
Many of us feel we don’t have time for it due to a busy work/ personal life. It is however, one of the most productive things that you can do as it will significantly reduce your stress levels and boost your mood resulting in increased energy. This may help you be more efficient in your day- to- day routine.
So, now when you have the knowledge and the ability to make healthy choices for yourself - Get your shoes on, make a plan, and set your watch ready to go.
Exercise recommendations advise you to walk at least 30 minutes daily, although from an Exercise Physiologist’s perspective, I’d say anything is better than nothing! Start adding short walks to your day if you are used to doing none, and with time gradually progress to longer durations.
If you need any help getting started or more tips around this topic. Please contact our clinic and one of our Exercise Physiologists will be happy to assist you.
Written by Accredited Exercise Physiologist, Therese Sioestroem