10 Ways to Walk Your Way to Fitness and Health
Walking is more than just a way to get around. Walking at any speed is a way to improve your fitness, burn calories, and reduce the health risks of inactivity. Walking the dog, walking in the park, or simply walking around your neighborhood at an easy pace keeps you active and can help you reap benefits.
Top 10 Things to Know About Walking
- Walking can help you burn fat and lose weight. When you walk at a brisk pace, your body must burn stored fat. This helps you not only lose weight but lose excess body fat.
- You may not be walking right. You should work on good walking posture, arm motion, and foot motion to get the most out of a walking workout. Avoid common walking mistakes to get the best results.
- You need the right walking shoes. While you can take a walk in almost any footwear, you will be able to walk better with flexible athletic shoes that fit right.
- A pedometer or fitness tracker can motivate you to walk more. Whether you wear a Fitbit or an old-school waistband pedometer, you will probably walk more if it is tracking your steps each day. If you log 10,000 steps per day, you are likely to meet recommended activity goals.
- Treadmill walking gives a good workout. You can avoid the weather and other outdoor walking hazards by enjoying treadmill walking workouts.
- You can walk a 5K, 10K, half marathon, or a marathon. Races aren’t just for runners. Many events welcome walkers, both swift and slow. You can train for a 5K (3.1 miles), 10K (6.2 miles), half marathon (13.1 miles), or marathon (26.2 miles) walk.
- Walking is good for many health conditions. Walking for 30 minutes per day, five times per week is recommended for people with arthritis and for people with diabetes. Regular walking is recommended to prevent or manage many health conditions.
- You can walk solo or with walking friends. You don’t need a team to enjoy walking, but it can be a great way to connect with others if you wish to do so. Walking alone or with your dog is a good way to get in a quick workout or break away for a longer stroll, but you can also make walking friends or join a walking club.
- Walking can improve your mood. Taking a walk can help relieve stress, improve your mood, and allow you to think more clearly. There may be even more benefits if you walk in a park or natural area.
- You can enjoy a variety of walking workouts: You don’t have to do the same walk every time. If you vary your speed and intensity, you can get more fitness benefits. Use these six walking workouts to mix it up.
How Walking Can Enrich Your Life
If you walk more each day, you will reap the health benefits of reducing inactivity and being more physically active. Walking can also enrich your life in other ways.
- Explore your environment on foot and notice what is going on around you. You’ll find you never really walk the same way twice. There are always new things to see.
- Find pleasant places to walk. Look for walking paths, greenways, and pedestrian streets to enjoy.
- Bring along your family and friends. Walking together is a great way to connect with others.
- Walk instead of drive for a few trips each week. Walk part of your commute to work or school. Leave the car behind or get off a stop early on public transit. Walk to the store for small items. You’ll save money and have a purpose for getting in your daily steps.
- Walk a charity walk to raise money for a cause. Put your steps to good use.
- If it’s hard to work walking into your day, try a 15-minute walk on a work break, or walk during your lunch break.