We all know the benefits of walking outweigh the benefits of sitting in traffic on our way to work.
However, these days, time constraints and technology make it even more difficult to get out and get moving. But the benefits of walking make it one of the best, and easiest, ways to improve your health.
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According to the surgeon general and the American Heart Association, a healthier heart is simply a matter of standing up and walking towards it!
The best part? It only requires small changes throughout the day to reap big benefits that come with walking.
Doctors say only 22 minutes a day could seriously reduce your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and other health complications. If there are so many benefits of walking, why aren’t we doing it more often?
The answer is simple: our world requires less physical effort now than ever before. We have the Internet, e-mail, telephones, and cars to thank for that.
And, while not having to walk miles for groceries or hitch a horse to a cart for travel is great, it’s not so great for our heart health if we don’t find ways to get moving.
We often walk less because we feel shorter on time. We have to be certain places by certain times, we don’t have an extra hour to walk to and from the grocery store or use our bikes instead.
And certain cities haven’t developed safe pedestrian and biking conditions quite yet and that only adds to the difficulty of getting out and walking.
The Benefits Of Walking:
While walking helps to reduce your risk of heart disease, walking also helps you stabilize and maintain a healthy weight, strengthen your muscles, and burn excess fat.
However, walking also serves as a sort of mental relief, providing an opportunity to break away from and channel stress, improve your mood, and get some fresh air.
Because physical exercise is important for maintaining low body fat and low stress levels, it has a very direct relationship with lowering heart disease and stroke risk. Walking, according to doctors, seems to be the best way to amp up your daily physical activity little by little.
How Do You Start Walking?
What an odd question! We bet you never expected to ask yourself that. But, strangely enough, it’s a legitimate question. How do you start to integrate walking into your every day life?
Small changes: commit to one or two changes everyday. These are things you’ll do differently, such as walking to your coworker’s office for a chat instead of sending an e-mail, or walking around the office building for 10 minutes every day at 1:00.
Consider public transportation: The distance between your front door and your car isn’t huge. But the distance between your front door and the nearest bus or train stop is probably a 5 to 10 minute walk. Five to ten minutes doesn’t seem like a lot, until you consider that doctors are simply asking you to get 22 minutes a day. If you think of it this way, it adds up!
Do errands differently: We all have those small errands. Out of milk, need to run to the ATM, pharmacy, etc. Once again, it’s easy to get in the car and go, but it’s better for you to walk to the corner store and grab that small item.
Get family involved: Your spouse, kids, friends, dog . . . they could all benefit from walking, too! And who knows what kind of quality time you could get just from taking 10 or 15 minutes to walk around the neighborhood with a friend or family member.
If you’re already walking, that’s great. We challenge you to read the following articles and learn more about the benefits of cardiovascular exercise: