If you live in a big city, walking isn’t “exercise”, it’s how you get to the subway, it’s how you get to work, it’s how you pretty much do everything. Whenever I return to my beloved stomping grounds within New York City, I always admire the elderly white-haired ladies who, having lived in Manhattan for years, look very fit and strong because walking is a way of life (as are 3-floor walk ups for some extra involuntary cardio). For those of us who live in a more suburban environment (myself now included), a lack of sidewalks and the mix of local highways prevents many of us from safely walking about. We jokingly resort to parking in the back of the Target parking lot in an effort to “get our steps in”.
Assuming one is physically able to do so, walking is one of the best things you can do for your overall health. It’s also one of the easiest.
3 Ways Daily Walks Can Boost Your Health #1: Walking can benefit your cardiovascular health by improving heart and lung function and lowering blood pressure which can reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. #2: Walking also helps keep your joints mobile and reduces stiffness, which can be particularly beneficial for older adults looking to increase mobility and flexibility. By building up strength and bone density, walking can reduce the risk of osteoporosis and fractures. #3: Walking is a great way to reduce stress and anxiety, as it can help calm the mind, promote relaxation and boost your mood and increase energy levels by releasing endorphins, which are natural feel-good chemicals in the body. How long do I need to walk? Ideally, you’ll want to aim for a minimum of 30minutes a day at a brisk pace, but even that can be broken up into three 10min walks. And if you’re new to this habit, you may need to slowly build up to it.
Most often, I use my walking time to listen to some of my favorite podcasts (Ologies, Hidden Brain, TED Talks, and Tony Robbins) Other times, I’ll invite a friend to join me, stacking my health habit with some health-boosting social bonding time. Sometimes, I walk quietly in a different neighborhood, taking in the flowers, the décor, the pets, the colors all with new eyes, opening my curiosity, which is a sure-fire way to reduce stress and create a sense of fulfillment.
However you choose to do it, walking is one of those basics of immunity that costs nothing, except some time and supportive set of sneakers, and yet offers a huge return on investment. So walk with me... When can you get in your steps today?