10,000 steps. 4 miles. An hour and a half a day. No matter the measure, we all know how good walking is for us. Or, do we? With the advent and subsequent seismic boom of the step counter, we’re all obsessed with walking and steps. Have we really taken the time to consider the why when it comes to walking? Walking is low impact, which means that long-term, walking won’t harm your joints like other aerobic activities. Walking can help reduce inflammation and joint pain. It also doesn’t call for equipment, save for a good pair of sneakers!
Walking is one of the most underrated physical activities. Hitting the elliptical or rowing machine will get you huffing and puffing pretty quickly, and the same could be said for walking. It’s all about the speed, and you should be able to talk at an optimal aerobic pace but not sing.
Why Walking Is Good For Your Body
- It helps increase bone density, which is essential because our bones become more brittle and susceptible to breaks as we age. Walking can also improve balance.
- Walking helps keep your cardiovascular and respiratory system healthy, which can also help reduce heart and lung disease risk.
- Just approximately 30 minutes of walking a day can decrease body fat percentage, as well as increase muscle tone and overall endurance.
- Walking helps to lower and stabilize your blood sugar in addition to boosting your immune function and even your energy levels too.
Ways to Kick Your Walk Up A Notch
- Find an incline. Whether it’s walking up and down small hills in your neighborhood park or more aggressive inclines found in forest areas, inclines will make you feel the burn in no time.
- Carry weights. Only one- or two-pound weights will escalate the intensity of your workout, even if you don’t feel it at first. Some people prefer other options like ankle weights or weights with straps to keep their hands free.
- Walk a dog. If you don’t have a dog, ask a friend or neighbor to borrow theirs. Fido will likely be pulling on the leash, and the added resistance will intensify your workout.
- Don’t skip the stairs. Try to find some staircases, inside or out, that you can scale a few times if you’re looking to get your heart rate up.
- Walk for longer and walk faster. Any kind of activity that gets your body burning energy is a good thing, and a few thousand steps extra a day can mean the difference between sustaining weight and losing weight.
Above the physical benefits of walking, it’s also beneficial to your overall wellness. As many of us are still working from home, it’s easy to forget how important, rather, imperative it is to get up and move around every few hours. Even if it’s for a short time, feeling the fresh air, hearing the birds chirping, and (hopefully) the sunshine on your face is restorative beyond measure and should be added to your daily routine.
If you’re interested in finding a home closer to walking trails, check out some of the great features of living near Wasaga Beach here. If you’d like to be closer to nature and perhaps living in a smaller home, too, check out our article on finding the best property for your lifestyle.