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Monday, January 15, 2024

Benefits of Walking Every Day and Tips for Success

Brisk Walking is Beneficial to Overall Wellness

 

Benefits of Walking Every Day


Brisk walking on a daily basis can improve cardiovascular fitness by strengthening the heart, lowering blood pressure, and improving circulation. Walking at least 30 minutes a day helps lower the risk of developing heart disease, stroke, and other cardiovascular conditions.

 

 

Walking is a low-impact activity, which means it will create less stress and strain on your joints than activities like running or tennis.

 

 

Walking is easy enough that all fitness levels can get those daily steps in, without special equipment. Gear can be as simple as a sturdy pair of walking shoes and comfortable, loose fitting, layered clothing, and drinking water.

 

 

Walking is a zero-calorie fitness strategy that offers similar stress reduction perks as eating some good mood foods.



Walking helps tone bodies and burn calories. A daily walking habit may help you lose weight and belly fat, and keep it off. In fact, walking just one mile burns about 100 calories.





For people of any age who have arthritis, walking is especially good medicine. It strengthens muscles, which helps shift pressure from joints and reduce pain. See How to Exercise Safely With Arthritis for details.

 



Everyone benefits from a regular walking routine, as walking compresses and releases the cartilage in knees, and helps circulate synovial fluid that brings oxygen and nourishment to joints. 

 

A study published in September 2022 in JAMA Neurology, found walking 9,800 steps per day was associated with steady declines in dementia risk, and even fewer steps than the 9,800 threshold were still associated with a decline.



Regular exercise gives your face a glow, and your being the vim and vigor you can’t get any other way.  

 

Walking can raise your energy level, cognition, memory, and sleep quality, as well as strengthen the immune system.


Time spent walking can be an opportunity to meditate, and put aside electronic devices. It's self-caring to reserve time every day to unwind and relax with no interruptions. 



Walking with someone makes time fly

 

Tips for Successful Walking

  


Start out with short walks or walking at a light intensity, and gradually build up to longer walks or moderate or vigorous speed. 



As soon as your walking parameter feels too easy, work on increasing the duration, frequency, or speed. 



Keep up motivation by focusing on progress not perfection. When all else fails, use the mantra some exercise is better than none.


Do not start any new exercise program, without consulting your health care provider.  


Notice all windows of opportunity. For example, when you're running errands by auto,  park far away from your destination. Finish the last half-mile on foot. 


If you are up to it, leave the car at home and do errands by walking the whole way. 



Whenever possible, walk during daylight hours, and wear a light colored vest or sweatshirt so you are visible to traffic. 



Always walk facing oncoming traffic. If it's dark carry a flashlight or walk on a lighted track or indoors on a treadmill.
 

Choose routes that are well-used, well-lit, and safe. Even if you walk the same route every day, stay alert at all times to prevent falls from stumbling over brush and other obstacles in your path.


Don’t compare your routine to what others are doing. Set a time or step goal that is attainable for you. If you need to start with just 10 minutes or 5,000 steps a day and build up, that is better than nothing!
 

Pay attention to your surroundings, and avoid distractions like headphones. Refrain from being on your phone. Give yourself permission to be fully present to the now.
 

Walk on a sidewalk or a path whenever possible or find a smooth, stable surface alongside the road.
 

Dress appropriately. For colder temps, keep extremities protected from the environment. Fingers, toes, ears, and nose are most likely to suffer a cold injury like frostbite. Wear layers and wear a hat and sunglasses.
 

In warm or hot weather, try to exercise in the shade as much as possible, and keep to tree lined paths for your walk. 


Wear appropriate clothing: Light colored, loose fitting clothing made from cotton or sweat wicking fabrics are best. Also, don't forget a hat, sunglasses, and water for hydration.


Mix things up by grabbing a walking buddy, some friends, your children, or romantic partner and take an invigorating walk together.  


Make your walk feel fresh, and go to places you haven't been to before. Examples are a park, arboretum, zoo, or hiking trail. Find a new path or hill to climb. 


Even if you go to the same place every day, go at a different time of day than you’re used to. Lighting, colors, sounds, and smells will be different, and the people and living creatures you notice will also change with a different time.
 
 
There are many benefits of walking every day, and self-care tips and ideas to make this type of exercise a triumphant, health enhancing activity you take in stride (pun intended).


Note: This post is intended for educational and entertainment purposes only, and not offered as health or fitness advice. Please consult with your health care provider, before starting any exercise program.
 
 
Please comment below.
 
 
Do you have questions or feedback about walking for its wellness benefits?

Those people who walk every day find they improve their mental and physical health and feel better about their appearance as well. Do you agree or disagree and why? 
 
Did this post reveal something new that encourages you to consider developing a daily walking practice?
 
 
Please share below.
 
 
I have found if I walk early in the morning, the feel-good vibes I experience carries over into my work and play.
 
 
I read and appreciate every comment, but will not publish those that contain links. Thanks for understanding.
 
 
 



This post has been shared at Talking-about-it-Tuesdays-#7

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This post has been shared at Thurs. Favorite Things #645

This post is a feature at Senior Salon Pit Stop Link Party #294. Thrilled and honored!



This post has been shared at  senior-salon-pit-stop-294

20 comments:

  1. My son and I try to hike/walk for an hour a day when the weather is nice and always shoot for a minimum of 30 (though we do have days where it's just too cold for even that!).

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    1. So happy for you that you're able to walk so often and the companionship is a a plus. Thanks for your comment and visit and please have a wonderful evening.

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  2. Walking is all that you describe--all the benefits--but it is no substitute for core strength exercises. I hope you will discuss those as well.

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    1. I agree. Core strength exercises are just as important as an aerobic exercise program like walking. It's also important to stretch and tone and do exercises that maintain flexibility, balance, coordination, etc. Thanks for your feedback. Wish you a wonderful evening.

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  3. I especially like the idea of putting aside electronic devices! Thanks for sharing with SSPS, and please come back again!

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    1. Thanks Melynda for your comment and visit. Putting aside electronic devices is such an important self-care practice and glad you mentioned it. Wishing you a beautiful evening.

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  4. Walking is imperative for my mental health and well-being. I so appreciate your mentioning all the health benefits, and it's free! I have been walking regularly since my 30s and am now almost 70.

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    1. What a gift you are giving yourself, one walk at a time. Yes, walking does have terrific benefits. Keep up the good work!

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  5. Great post! One of my features for SSPS #294!

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    1. So excited. Thanks Melynda for featuring this post at SSPS# 294. I'll look for it next Monday. Thanks for hosting this fabulous blog party and have a great weekend.

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  6. I walk every morning as soon as it gets light outside ( 7:00-7:30 ish) . I walk briskly for an hour along a path adjacent to the beach. Interesting to read about the benefits. Thanks.

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    1. Hi Judee, It's fortunate you live near a place to walk by the beach. I encourage you to keep up those brisk 1 hour walks, and continue to do such good things for health and happiness.

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  7. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  8. I used to walk on a tread mill for years but then started having hip issues (arthritis) and my physical therapist told me to bike instead because walking was aggravating the condition. I've since had a hip replacement, and I'm still just biking as it's only been 12 weeks since my surgery. I don't know if I'll ever go back to the treadmill, but I'll definitely still go on hiking trips!

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    1. Thanks for the comment Amy. Think it's remarkable that you're bike riding at 12 weeks post surgery. Wishing you a beautiful day.

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  9. These are great tips Nancy! Thanks so much for sharing with us at SSPS. Have a wonderful weekend!
    Maria

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    1. Thanks Maria for the comment and co-hosting SSPS. Wishing you a beautiful Sunday and I'll see you at the blog party tomorrow.

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