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I have been an active person for most of my life.
From elementary school until 9th grade, I ran track through. I took dance lessons of all types at different times — jazz, tap, and ballet. I was on the dance team in high school and helped start a dance team at my college.
Yoga, used bikes, stair steppers, and treadmills in the gym, and lifted weights — all were physical activities that I participated in. With all of that, what is my exercise of choice right now?
I am a big fan of walking. I walk 3-4 times a week.
Why Pick Walking Out of All the Choices?
There are many different physical exercises that you can do to improve your overall health, improve your cardiovascular fitness, and improve your mood. But walking has some significant benefits over rowing, elliptical trainers, running, tennis, and a myriad of others.
First, it’s practically free. You’ll need comfortable and supportive shoes and some comfortable, weather-appropriate clothing and you’ll be set to go. Walking has a lower dropout rate compared to many other programs that you could try. It’s the simplest change you can make to your lifestyle that will effectively make positive changes to your health.
Walking also has some significant health benefits – some of which are very visible and others of which you’ll appreciate over time.
My Top Ten Favorite Health Benefits from Walking
1. Fat Reduction
Walking will help to reduce fat and help you to burn calories over time. It won’t happen as quickly as with other more intense exercises that burn more calories faster. But walking has the lowest dropout rate, so you are more likely to stick with it and reap the benefits over time.
2. Stress Reduction
Walking helps to reduce stress and elevate your mood. It’s very difficult to come in from a 30-minute walk angry and aggravated. The setting is often calming and you can listen to music or podcasts if you wish! You might end up in the zone and discover a creative solution to some problem!
3. Reduction of Health Risk
Walking can reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.
4. Butt Development through Walking
Tight and firm buttocks.
Did you know that sitting for long periods of time can heavily contribute to middle age gluteal spread, even before middle age? When you’re walking, check to be sure that your gluteal muscles are engaging. Place your hand over each glute (buttock) and be sure you feel the muscle activating and working as you are walking. Probably shouldn’t be done in public!
5. Helps Your Bones
Walking is a weight-bearing exercise. Weight-bearing exercises will improve your bone density and reduce your risk of osteoporosis.
6. Improves Balance and Muscles
Walking helps to improve muscle strength and balance which will reduce the risk of falls, especially in the elderly.
7. Lowers Overall Risk of Death
It reduces your overall risk of mortality (death). In a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1998, researchers found that retired men who walked less than 1 mile per day had mortality rates twice that of men who walked more than 2 miles per day.
8. Availability of Accountability Partners
It’s easy to find groups of people who get together daily and weekly to walk. Walking with a partner will increase your socialization and improve your overall enjoyment of the activity.
9. Improves Glycemic Control
Walking helps to stabilize your glycemic control. In other words, it helps to stabilize blood sugar, whether you are a diabetic or not. Stabilizing blood sugar will help to reduce your cravings and feeling of hunger and help you to lose weight.
10. Brain Protection
Being active has a protective effect on the brain. This can help to reduce the risk of dementia.
So, if you are looking for an activity to incorporate into your physical fitness routine, consider walking!
Loving Life — The Reboot!
This article provides general information and discussion about health and related subjects. The information and other content provided in this article, or in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice. Consult your own physician for any medical issues that you may be having.