Walk Your Way to Better Health

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Walking Collage

I have tried all kinds of exercise over the years trying to find the “perfect fit” for my lifestyle.  If I had my choice, I wouldn’t bother at all.  But, we all know that isn’t a good choice.  Particularly as I’ve gotten older, I’ve discovered that a life without exercise is not in my best interest.

So, in my quest to find something that works for me, I’ve tried a variety of exercise related options.  I’ve joined a gym, I’ve tried to do a number of exercises at home (sit ups, lunges, jogging in place, and on and on and on), and I’ve tried running.  They all have many benefits, but none really work for me.  I don’t enjoy any of them and it’s a lot of work to make myself focus on the task at hand without being distracted.

The one thing that I have always been able to keep up more consistently than any other is walking.  I love to walk outdoors when the weather is nice.  And, when it’s not so nice, I’ve discovered that I walk a path in my house and achieve close to the same results.  I know… that sounds a little funny (and my family likes to tease me about walking circles around the house!), but it works.  I’ll put on a TV program I enjoy or music that gets me moving and I walk, walk, walk.

Another reason I like walking is that it is so easy to incorporate into my lifestyle.  I can easily find periods of time in my day where I can walk for at least 30 minutes.  But, I also incorporate it into other parts of my day.  When I go shopping, I don’t look for the front parking spaces.  I park towards the back so I can get in more steps.  If I have the choice between an elevator or stairs, I’ll take the stairs.  When the weather is nice, I walk to school to pick up my daughter in the afternoons instead of driving (the added bonus here is special time with her!).  My home office is upstairs, so when I need restroom break, I’ll use the downstairs restroom instead of the one right next to my office.  Once you start thinking of all the ways you can add more steps to your day, you’ll be amazed at all the opportunities!

Now, here’s what I like even more than how easy it is to incorporate walking into my daily life….. it’s really good for me!

Did you know walking……

*  reduces the risk of coronary disease?
*  improves blood pressure and blood sugar levels?
*  helps to maintain body weight and lowers the risk of obesity?
*  enhances mental well-being?
*  reduces the risk of osteporosis?
*  reduces the risk of breast and colon cancer?
*  reduces the risk of non-insulin dependent (type 2) diabetes?

Get out there and start walking and I really believe you’ll find that walking will be a simple and positive lifestyle change for you, too.  You’ll find that you feel better, sleep better, and have a more positive outlook on life in general.

Don’t like to walk alone?  How about teaming up with a friend and walk together?  Or, maybe you’ll find it’s a great way to spend time with your favorite four-legged friend.  I know our two dachshunds are always up for a walk around the neighborhood!

What are your favorite walking workouts and tips?

~ Melanie