Fitness and Health. These words inspire many of us to get off the couch. Or make us feel guilty for not getting off the couch!
There are so many fitness crazes out there, so many exercise programs. These can confuse us and also be full of contradictory information and advice. What to do and where to start?
Walking is a simple way to get your fitness started. Many people will want more challenging exercise and training, but for some of us, walking will be a huge part, maybe our entire fitness program.
Walking daily is a goal that almost all of us can do. We can all make the time and our lives will be richer for it.
Walking has tremendous benefits for our health and for our peace of mind.
Benefits of a daily walk:
- Walking is free — you can do it anywhere and you don’t need special equipment besides shoes you can walk in. Although, some people like walking in bare feet, nothing wrong with that! You can ground with the earth and connect with the energy of the earth. Just walk barefoot only in safe areas, such as a clean beach if you are lucky enough to live close by!
- You can walk at any pace. You get to choose the speed and intensity of your walk.
- Walking is low impact and has a low risk of injury.
- Walking helps reduce your blood pressure and makes your heart healthier.
- Walking reduces the risk of developing diabetes.
- Walking improves fitness. I suggest slowly increasing the pace of your walking. If your health permits keep working up the pace until you are walking briskly. This brisk walking can improve physical functioning and improves cardiac fitness.
- Walking will help your brain, improving your cognitive functioning.
- Walking can help you with depression and anxiety. More well-being anyone?
- Walking helps to keep your body weight stable and lowers your risk of obesity.
- Walking with friends is an excellent way to maintain friendships. It can strengthen social connections and reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness. Loneliness can be harmful to your health. I wrote about loneliness here.
- Walking can spark creativity. Many people have great ideas while out walking.
Nothing like a nighttime stroll to give you ideas. ~J. K. Rowling. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, spoken by the character Mad-Eye Moody
12. Walking gets you out in nature. In Japan, people have started a movement called “Forest Therapy”. Scientists studying this have found that strolling through trees can lower the stress hormone, cortisol, and improve the immune system.
Those who think they have no time for exercise will, sooner or later, have to find time for illness. -Edward Stanley
If we take 30 minutes daily to get outside and walk, our health and happiness will improve.
For those of you who feel that you are ‘Just too busy right now…’; I urge you to put your health and well-being above your other priorities. Health really is of the greatest importance.
If you really cannot spare 30 minutes, as you are far too busy to get out there; perhaps you could try taking a “walking” meeting, or getting some phone calls done while out walking. Or go walk at lunch or before work in the morning.
The benefits are worth it.
That’s all for now — my walk awaits!
Michelle Fyfe has been a pharmacist for over 25 years and is passionate about using holistic, natural methods of achieving true health; developing new, healthy and simple lifestyles with a side effect of increased energy, happiness and fulfillment. She is working on her first book called: The Five Keys to Health — A Pharmacist’s Guide to Holistic Living.
Follow her blog — Healthy Living Tribe at https://healthylivingtribe.ca