I know what you’re thinking, ‘walking, seriously? as a fitness feature!’ but actually it’s pretty underrated form of exercise. It’s an ideal form of exercise that anyone can participate in at any level of fitness and is a great starting point on being more active; what’s more, walking can actually contribute to your recommended exercise quota. Studies have also shown that regular walking can contribute to weight loss, improve mental health, reduce chronic illnesses, improved heart function and a number of other health benefits.
As highlighted above, walking can contribute to your recommended weekly activity- this is the aerobic aspect of which you need 150 minutes of per week. But this entails, to get the maximum health benefits you need from walking, going faster than a leisurely pace, it needs to be more of a fast walk. Walking up hills will also improve your cardiovascular health significantly as well. Download a health app to see for yourself.
The advantage of walking as a form of exercise as well is you can incorporate it into any aspect of your life as well:
- Walk to work
- Take a walk on your lunch break
- Instead of driving to the shops, walk instead.
- Take the stairs instead of the lift of escalators
- Make it a weekend activity before or after dinner
- Make use of the health app on the iPhone; look to the health data tab and sign up to the walking/running, flights climbed and steps elements to be visible on the dashboard and review your progress daily. It’s worth looking to the other functions and keeping tabs/updating these too.
- If you don’t have an iPhone, download this Pedometer app.
- Take a look at Walking for Health; you can join a group, find out more about the health benefits of walking, how to be motivated and ways in which you can volunteer your time to helping others.
- There’s nothing better than going on a scenic walk, take a look at the National Trust site to find somewhere spectacular you can wander.