If you thought that running or hitting the gym was the only way to get fit you don’t need to worry. Evidence has shown that walking is just as effective in improving heart health. Even better, walking briskly has been shown to lower your chances of developing high cholesterol, diabetes and high blood pressure to the same extent as running does according to studies carried out by California’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Since these three conditions have been recognized as major risk factors in the development of strokes and heart disease, walking is something that you should add into your schedule.
Research which analysed over 33,000 runners and over 15,000 walkers showed that the amount of energy used in moderate-speed walking and in high intensity running produced the same level of reduced risk for these three serious health conditions over the 6 years that the study was carried out, and the more that the participants walked every week, the more health benefits they experienced.
How To Fit Walking Into Your Life
If you’ve decided that you need to fit more walking into your life, you might need some pointers to help you to find a spot in your schedule. The good news is that even if you have been living a sedentary lifestyle for years there’s no reason why you can’t start walking for better health. Even if you only add a couple of extra minutes of walking into your day at first you’ll be gaining health benefits, and you can then progress to longer walks and faster speeds. Below are tips to get you started:
- Set reachable goals – if you set yourself a target of walking for 60 minutes straight away you’ll never be able to stick to your new regime. Make it manageable. Try to add in a 10 minute walk every day and then work up to a 30 minute walk every day once you’re in shape.
- Find A Way To Enjoy Your Walk – you’re more likely to stick to your walking regime if you find a way of enjoying your walk. Find a place that you love to spend time for your daily walk, whether that be a local park or a beach, or walk with a friend so you can talk and catch up. You could make your walk a family occasion to get some additional quality time, or simply enjoy the solitude that a solo walk can bring.
- Split Your Walks Up Into Short Chunks – if you don’t like the idea of walking for 30 minutes at a stretch simply break it up into two walks of 15 minutes or three of 10 minutes each. It’ll feel more manageable and have just as many benefits.
Adding A Walking Into Your Existing Schedule
If you don’t want to have to plan in a specific walking time every day, there are lots of ways that you can include walking in your daily schedule without having to set aside any extra time at all. Here are some tips:
- Go for a walk with your dog
- Take the kids to the park at the weekend
- Park further away from work
- Skip riding the elevator; choose the stairs instead
- Go window shopping
Walking Is Simple And Free
One of the best things about walking is that it is a completely free activity – a much more cost-effective solution than going to the gym! All your need is a pair of good quality, comfortable sneakers. Wear these on your daily walks and you can hit the road for a safe and effective way of improving your heart’s health. No special skills are required, you don’t need to be super-fit and you don’t even need any special equipment. In fact, it couldn’t be easier to include walking in your regime.