When someone suggests going on a walk, you might often think, "I've got places to go and people to see. I don't have time to stroll down the block. I'll take my car, thank you very much." At the same time, are you struggling to find the time to stay active? You may not realize it, but walking is one of the easiest ways to integrate exercise into your daily life! Step into your walking shoes and head outside!
Here are five important reasons why walking works:
1) Walking boosts your mood and reduces stress. Being out in the fresh air and sunshine for a walk, whether in the morning or after work, is energizing after being stuck indoors. Next time you go for a walk, try to go somewhere with some scenery, like a park or a forest, or even a new neighborhood you haven't explored before. Invite a friend you haven't seen in awhile and take the time to reconnect and have a good conversation while you both burn off some calories!
2) Walking helps keep your bones strong. When you stay active and exercise regularly, including walking and other heart-pumping activities, you build strength not only in your muscles, but also in your bones. Therefore, walking is a great way to help prevent osteoporosis, a disease that millions of women are diagnosed with each year.
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3) Walking burns more calories than you'd think! A woman weighing 150 pounds walking briskly (4mph) for about 10 minutes can burn an extra 57 calories. Now think about all the places you walk to during the day. The calories really add up. Burn even more by walking up inclines. Also, pump your arms while you walk!
4) Walking strengthens your heart and lungs. Like any exercise, walking helps you build strength and stay fit. Along with this, as you become stronger, you require less oxygen to do more exercise. You'll feel less tired and motivated to move more!
5) Walking keeps colds at bay. Moderate exercise like walking boosts the immune system, your ability to fight off viruses and infections. Try to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity like walking into each day to keep your immune system strong. It's your best defense against the coughs and sniffles!
These are all great reasons why you should walk whenever possible during your day. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Rather than send your co-worker an email, walk over to his or her desk to talk instead! If you can, ditch the car one day and walk to your destination. Walking is one of the best and easiest ways to exercise outside of the gym!