Walking is the ultimate exercise for losing and maintaining weight as well as for clearing the mind. In fact, I have found walking to be my BEST tool for staying slim and feeling good. (Seriously, it is the only thing that really gets rid of my love handles.)
I’ve been an avid walker for 20+ years and I want to share with you my reasons why I recommend walking so highly. I’m really passionate about walking and love sharing why it’s so amazing.
While most people acknowledge walking is good for you, it’s not nearly as glamorous as running seems to be and I suspect some people blow it off as an inferior type of exercise. However, as a devoted outdoors walker, I am here to tell you, that walking is the Ultimate Exercise.
Why you need to walk: It Works!
For me, walking gets the job done. And by job, I mean maintaining a healthy weight and metabolism. Research also shows that consistent walking might even be better for you long-term than running in weight management.
I first discovered the benefits of walking while pregnant with my first child. Not only did I have an easy delivery but I was able to walk off the baby weight quickly. For me, the magic number is three miles in one hour. That’s fairly brisk, but not uncomfortable at all. And you get so many benefits for that one-hour investment a few times a week. I depend on it so much that I have written more in depth about it in these two posts.
Why you need to walk: It’s Super Easy on Your Body!
Walking is one of the safest exercises. It’s difficult to hurt yourself simply through walking. You can’t say the same for running or other high-impact cardio exercises. In fact, walking can actually be therapeutic for your body. On many occasion, after my adjustment, my chiropractor prescribed walking to help me heal various work-induced back problems. And each and every time, my body was able to heal without pain medication, muscle relaxers, or surgery.
Why you need to walk: It’s So Freakin Good For You!
There is quite a bit of research promoting the benefits of walking. Look around at how many people are wearing some sort of device to track their steps. Walking is so good for so many things; people are looking for ways to get more steps into their lives. It’s probably the #1 recommended exercise out there. Here are some of the reasons why:
- Reduces risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes
- Burns calories, revs up metabolism, and can help with weight loss
- Builds up your bones
- Improves circulation
- Boosts your brain power
- Relieves stress and improves mood
Other things mentioned are reducing the risk of cancer and Alzheimer’s. There is a wealth of information promoting the benefits of walking. Even moderate (but consistent) amounts can have a positive effect on your health.
Why you need to walk: It’s Accessible and Free!
Put on your walking shoes, go outside and walk. It just doesn’t get any easier than that. You can even wear regular clothes if you want. I do recommend getting a pair of good walking or running shoes. I buy mine at a discount store to keep the cost down. The other great thing is that you don’t have to practice or learn to walk. You just go do it. You might want to gradually increase your distance or speed but otherwise, it’s something you know how to do and you can do it almost anywhere.
Why you need to walk: It’s FUN!
I look forward to my walk no matter what the weather. I enjoy the different seasons, the different ways the sky looks, the plants that are blooming, the animal life. No walk is alike. Even though I take virtually the same path every day, I am amazed at all the variety I see each day.
Walking also helps my mind relax. While it’s not quite meditation; it definitely calms my thoughts and emotions. I usually feel much better mentally after a walk.
Walking Outdoors is such an amazing and healthy activity. At the very least start adding more walking to your daily routine. Park your car far away from the grocery store door. Take a longer on bathroom breaks. Spend part of your lunch hour outside walking. Walking is so vital to good health it makes sense to add more to your day.
Why Walking is My Ultimate Exercise
My life simply feels better when I am able to walk almost every day. I’d walk every day just for the overall sense of well-being I get from my walks. But I also notice that walking seems to be the exercise, if done consistently, that helps me really get at that stubborn fat around my middle.
My One Walking Accessory
The Flip Belt allows you to carry your phone, keys, and money securely and yet easy to get to when needed. When you put it on, it just looks like the waistband of your black yoga pants. And since none of the clothes I wear for walking have pockets, I have to add my own. The Flip Belt has worked great.
Have a great walk today!
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I'm a former counselor, career services leader, and college advisor. Now I coach and write at My Think Big Life promoting health and personal growth.