The idea of working out can be off-putting, especially to those of us who have never done it, don’t want to do it or simply can’t do it.
Honestly, who wants to spend an hour in the gym pouring sweat and checking the clock every 10 seconds until it’s finally over?
On the same token, long, vigorous bicycle rides, runs or swims may also not be an option.
And guess what? That’s OK.
Because luckily, most of us can take a walk — and there are so many reasons why we should.
More time with family and friends? Sounds pretty good, yes? No matter your size, gender or weight, a study found that you can actually extend your lifespan, just by adding in 150 minutes of brisk walking a week.
In a world where so many of us sit at a desk all day, walking is crucial to counteract the negative effects of a sedentary lifestyle. In fact, researchers found that women who eat a regular diet and walk every day are more likely to maintain their weight than those who don’t.
From preventing osteoporosis, to reducing the risk of cancer and heart disease, to controlling blood pressure and Type 2 diabetes, walking has been scientifically proven to keep our health in check. It’s just the right amount of movement to keep us active without overdoing it and injuring ourselves.
One study found that walking helps prevent dementia — and, perhaps even more importantly, walking is known to treat depression and release endorphins that help us feel happy. Plus, walking helps us spur creativity, work out complex issues and clear our minds to prepare for an important event.
The evening between dinnertime and bedtime is often the toughest time for many of us when it comes to snacking. Scheduling in a walk is just the ticket because it’s been found to reduce cravings for sugary snacks both during the walk and for up to 10 minutes afterwards.
Gym memberships, group classes, boot camps — all are a great way to get fit, but they also cost money (and often lots of it). But walking? It costs nothing. All we have to do is open our door (maybe grab a jacket) and head out. We can even go as far or as close as we want, easy peasy.
We’ve all heard the phrase “stop and smell the roses” a time or two — and the neat thing about walking is it’s a way to do just that. Walking gives us time to meditate, take in nature and appreciate all the things the world has to offer.
Author: Caitlin Hendee
Diet-to-Go Community Manager
Caitlin is the Diet-to-Go community manager and an avid runner. She is passionate about engaging with others online and maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle. She believes moderation is key, and people will have the most weight loss success if they engage in common-sense healthy eating and fitness.