Walking Benefits For Your Best Fit Life
This month we are writing and sharing ideas to help you with fitness and today we will share some ideas on how walking benefits your health and fitness. We want to share the idea of using a simple thing like going for a walk to help you begin to improve not only your fitness but your overall wellbeing.
"It is a shame for a man to grow old without seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable." -Socrates
One of the important ideas is to begin where you are. We wrote yesterday about finding and clarifying your WHY. If fitness has not been a part of life for you in a while that is perfectly fine and you will want to start your fitness practice there. If that means simply putting on your shoes and standing outside for a few minutes for the first day or so that is great. Don’t stop there though. Do a bit more each day. Take a few steps and then a few more. Here is why we suggest that.
We believe from our experience of getting outdoors for a walk almost every day for the past 4 years in all different kinds of weather, that walking has tremendous fitness benefits. Who We AreYou see, there are a lot of good reasons to go for a walk.
• It’s fun,
• No special equipment required
• it’s relaxing, and
• most important it’s good for your health and fitness.
OK, that is good however you might be asking at this point what exactly are the health and fitness benefits of walking?
It is our intention in this post to help you realize that heading out for a walk each day is a great idea and that it motivates you to stick to your walking schedule so you can begin to see the benefits.
Walking Gets You Outside In The Fresh Air and Sunshine
The best part of getting outdoors for a walk for me is the fresh air and sunshine and yet I feel it is important to get outdoors in all kinds of weather.
So, no matter how fast or slow you walk, walking gets you outside and in the fresh air. This alone will make you feel better as your body absorbs the oxygen and sunshine. Both are important for your fitness, health and well-being.
You will find the air quality outside, particularly if you go for a walk in a forest or even in a park, will be much better than the air inside your house. Of course, the sunshine outside will help your body produce all the Vitamin D it needs.
Walking Can Help You Get To And Maintain A Healthy Weight
Walking particularly at a quick pace and doing it regularly can help you get to and then maintain a healthy weight. Yes, you still need to watch what you eat and aim for a healthy diet, but walking is simply another tool to help you move well and get fit.
The nice thing about walking when you’re overweight is that you burn a lot of calories, even on short and slow walks, simply because you’re carrying so much weight around with you. As you start to reduce the weight, your overall strength and endurance increase, allowing you to walk longer, further, and faster.
Walking Improves Your Sense Of Balance And Coordination
As you walk, particularly when walking over rougher terrain, you’re also working on your sense of balance and coordination. Just getting in the habit of going for a daily walk will help. We have found that getting out on the hiking trails has been a huge benefit to our balance and coordination. Moving well over all different kinds of terrain, up and down hills, tree branches and rocks is not only challenging it is also beneficial. As you improve your walking this is a great way to gain even more fitness benefits.
Walking Strengthens Your Bones and Muscles
Even though walking is a low-impact form of exercise it helps to strengthen and tone your body. If you’re a beginner, it is all you need to start to get into better shape. As you get more fit, consider adding weightlifting exercises in addition to your daily walks to continue to get stronger and fitter. Another idea is once you see your fitness improve is to add a knapsack with a bit of weight in it. I do this when I get out on the hiking trails. Walking 10 km with a pack on my back just adds a bit more of a challenge and fun.
Walking Outdoors Will Help Connect Mind and Body
Finally, the exercise of walking will help connect the mind and body. Getting out walking can be a perfect place to practice slow walking meditation. The practice is not only great to enjoy the slow pace of being outdoors whether it be on the trails, in a park or maybe your own neighbourhood offers the feel of nature, but it also helps you connect easily by breathing in for the count of 4 steps, hold your breath for the count of 4 steps and breathe out for the count of 4 steps. If you are already outdoors walking, you may have a much easier time to allow yourself to get in touch with the pace of nature and enjoy the tremendous feeling of connecting with your breath.
We understand now more than ever before the positive and lasting influences that being outdoors in nature can have on how we feel and what we think. What you see, hear, smell, and sense is continually changing your mood as well as physical responses in your body that regulate hormones, nervous system activity, and much more. And natural elements and spending time outdoors is an excellent way to restore balance to your mind and body, which can enhance your fitness and well-being. Give it a try. The next time you’re feeling tired or are in a bad mood, lace up your sneakers and go for a brisk walk. It works like a charm. At least this has been our experience over the past 4 years.
Walking has many health benefits, time to share any in the comments below.
Be sure to get in touch with us if we can help you.
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