Walking is simple, free, and one of the easiest ways to get more active. Walking is a great low-impact exercise and is a fantastic introduction to physical activity with loads of benefits, including:
increased cardiovascular fitness.
reduced risk of heart disease and stroke.
improved management of conditions such as hypertension (high blood pressure), high cholesterol, joint and muscular pain or stiffness, and type 2 diabetes.
stronger bones and improved balance.
increased muscle strength and endurance.
improves your mood which leads to better mental health.
When it comes to walking for your health, some is better than none. If walking is new to you, start by doing 10 minutes and then build up every few days. To reach the health benefits mentioned above, aim for 30 minutes of brisk walking each day. You can break this up if you find it difficult with your schedule; Why not try 3 x 10-minute bouts during the day?
A gentle warm-up and some stretching is a good way to prepare your muscles for being active and can prevent injuries. Try to incorporate a short warm-up and stretching routine at the beginning and stretching routine at the end. This doesn’t have to take long, even 5 minutes is enough time.
A good way to judge how fast you walk is to rate how you feel on a scale of 0 to 10 (where 0 is resting and 10 is working very hard). To get the health benefits without pushing yourself too hard, your walking should be somewhere between three (moderate) and six (somewhat hard). Our bodies tend to get used to physical activity, so continue to increase your intensity as you improve your fitness levels. You can increase the intensity of your walks by:
Adding in hills
Walking with hand weights
Increase your walking speed
Increase the distance that you walk
Walk for a longer time
Walking to improve your mood is a fantastic motivator for all. Walking is a healthy opportunity to connect with friends, loved ones, and your fur baby/ies, or even a chance to meet people in your local community.
For some, mindful walking is a chance to give yourself a bit of a break from the constant mental chatter. Connecting with our breath, the sensations in our body, and taking in the beautiful nature around us. This practice is simple and an effective way of lessening stress and aiding our overall mental health and well-being. Did you know that Lite n’ Easy’s new Jump Start ActiveATE mobile app has a number of guided walking and jogging workouts to help support you with your fitness goals?