Most of you know I work a lot of hours in a week with 5.20am starts and 9pm finishes and I have found the long hours of being a personal trainer as just part of the job. (It’s a good job I love it) but I constantly get asked where I find time for my own exercise and I must admit sometimes it’s hard, more than hard in fact. It’s so easy for me to motivate others and less so to motivate myself but one form of exercise that I do find to fit in my day and weekends is walking. I live so close the peak district and one of my favourite weekend activities is to be outdoors with my love exploring the hills.
There are a lot of good reasons to go for a walk. It’s fun, it’s relaxing, and most important it’s good for your health. But what exactly are the health benefits of walking? I hope this blog posts convinces you that heading out for a walk is a great idea and that it motivates you to start a walking schedule.
Walking Gets You Outside In The Fresh Air and Sunshine
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 health and well-being.
You will find the air quality outside, particularly if you go for a walk on the beach or in a park, will be much better than the air inside your house. Of course, the sunshine outside will help your body product 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 can be another tool to help you drop those extra pounds.
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 lose the weight, your overall strength and endurance increases, 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. But you can work even more on your sense of balance by moving your head around. Turn your head to the right and left as you walk for a count of 30. Then move your head up and down for a count of 30. If you do these simple exercises once or twice as you walk each day you’ll get even more benefit.
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 just starting out, it is all you need to start to get into better shape. As you get more fit, consider adding weight lifting exercises in addition to your daily walks to continue to get stronger and help develop strong muscles and bones.
Walking Will Boost Your Mood and Fight Depression
Last but not least, the exercise of walking releases endorphins that will help lift your mood and can even reduce depression. 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.
So tell me, when was the last time you went for a hike or a walk? And when will you be doing so again?