Walking for exercise has long been a common and recommended activity to maintain fitness levels and stay fit. Walking, unlike other physical activities, is low impact and allows the knees and hips to keep moving, resulting in less stress on joints. Walking for exercise is a great activity to do regardless of fitness level. The following are some tips to get you started.
First, if you have never walked a full route to begin with, find a place where there are many different routes. This allows you to pick and choose the route that makes you feel most comfortable. It can be more difficult to start walking if you are starting from the closest location to your current location, so it is a good idea to walk from one location to another until you are confident that you can walk a full route without the need to halt. Some individuals start out by walking only one block at a time before they build up momentum and increase their pace.
Next, remember to drink plenty of water throughout your exercise routine. Water fills your body with vitamins, minerals, and keeps you hydrated which can help to reduce the negative effects of being overweight. Walking for exercise provides the most effective exercise, yet you can still get all of the health benefits from water without adding any additional strain to your body. Water fills your system and also increases your heart rate for optimal physical activity.
When starting your new walk for exercise routine, start slowly at first. Don’t push yourself to do more than you can handle. Build up gradually by taking short, steady steps and increasing in length as your comfort level improves. When starting, take fewer steps; stick to the same length and increase in speed as your fitness level increases. You should be able to comfortably walk for at least 10 minutes.
One of the best goals you can set for yourself when walking for exercise is to sleep better at night. A study done by researchers at Harvard University indicates that if you start each day with at least 10,000 steps, you will be more likely to have a good night’s sleep. That means you can increase your physical activity and lower the total amount of sleep you get each night by as much as 30%. The benefits of sleep quality are well-documented, but many people simply don’t get enough. The results of this research show that walking at a slower pace every day will gradually increase your ability to sleep better.
Finally, if you have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes or have a family history of cardiovascular disease, you may want to include walking daily for exercise in your health plan. Researchers have found that walking daily lowers blood pressure, improves insulin sensitivity, reduces body fat, increases your muscle mass, and improves your sleep quality. Walking helps you get off the couch and get moving! What more could you ask for?