If you think you don’t know how to exercise, you are wrong. Plain and simple, you get out of a workout as much as you put into it. If you are willing to give physical fitness a try, then there is absolutely nothing holding you back from getting started.
Don’t believe it? Well hear this: You’ve been building your fitness skills since your very first step. That’s right. Walking is one of the most beneficial workouts that you can engage in, and the best part about it is that just about anyone can do it.
Walk This Way
Fitness walking is just like walking anywhere else. Just like walking around your house or office, all you need to do is put one foot in front of the other and come up with a plan.
All you need to get started with fitness walking is:
- A pair of sneakers
- A place to walk
- A bit of motivation to get going
The biggest difference between regularly walking and walking for physical fitness is the speed and intention with which you walk. Rather than focusing on point A or point B, when you go for a fitness walk the focus is on the journey—the distance travelled. Put a little bit more oomph behind each step to really push yourself for the best outcome.
Here are five benefits of fitness walking that you may not think about:
- Walking can be done anywhere, anytime. There are no limitations to how long you can walk, there is no cost associated with walking, and there is no shortage of new locations to help keep you interested in your activity. This is a great workout choice for someone who doesn’t want to pay for a gym membership, or who wants to be able to fit a quick workout in on their own schedule, without having to worry about gym hours or a commute to a workout facility.
- Walking is a type of cardiovascular activity, just like running, swimming, or aerobic classes. As long as you are pushing your body to get up to speed so that you feel your heart working and the sweat building, then you are capable of getting in a strong cardiovascular workout while walking. Cardiovascular activity promotes a healthy heart, helps reduce your likelihood of developing type-2 diabetes, and even supports optimal mental health.
- Walking is a low-intensity activity that doesn’t put a lot of pressure on your joints. This means that walking is less likely to lead to injury, especially when compared to high impact activities like running. This makes walking an ideal cardiovascular activity choice for those who are recovering from an injury, or who are dealing with ongoing joint pain or arthritis.
- Walking is known to boost immune function, meaning that walking every day can actually improve your body’s ability to fight off regular illnesses like the flu. Walking for just 20 minutes every day will actually make you more likely to resist the common cold, and even make it less likely that you’ll need to use a sick day.
- Walking is shown to support weight loss in several ways. As a form of cardiovascular exercise that encourages burned calories, walking is a great form of exercise to help you tone muscle and lose weight. But more than that, walking is shown to be a great defense against cravings. If you make a habit of going for a walk instead of giving into your sweet tooth, then walking can actually help you cut down on calorie consumption, too.
While walking is a great workout for those just getting started with physical fitness, this is not a workout that is reserved for the newbies. Speed walking is actually an Olympic sport, and there are plenty of healthy and active people who prefer walking over any other form of workout they encounter.
If you are experiencing joint pain that is preventing you from getting active, or need help learning how to get more fitness-minded with your walking routine, then give us a call. One of our physical therapists can help you get on the walking path to fitness greatness.