All of us take the act of walking for granted. Why? Because we don’t realize the amazing benefits of it and because we don’t take advantage of how easy it is to add extra steps to our daily lives. In fact, walking is one of the most versatile forms of exercise that anyone (children, adults, elderly) can do, and you can make it as easy or as challenging as you’d like. And the best thing about walking is that you can do it literally anywhere – and I mean ANYWHERE (on land, in the water, on a boat, a plane, a train, traveling, the list can go on and on).
There are many benefits to why you should add walking your daily or weekly workout routine, so here is a small sampling of the many advantages to adding extra steps to your day:
- Improves heart health
- Engages whole body muscles
- Improves blood pressure
- Improves balance
- Can do it anywhere – no gym required
- Exercise clothes aren’t needed – just good walking shoes
- It can help reduce stress – Read this earlier post Take a Walk to Relieve Stress
However, some of you may be thinking, ‘I really don’t have to time to add anything else to my already busy schedule.’ Again, that’s the great thing about walking. You can easily add extra steps throughout your normal day to reap the many benefits of a simple walking routine.
Consider that about 10 minutes equals about 1,200 steps and that 1 mile is equal to about an average of 2,000 steps (more or less depending on the length of the person’s stride). It may surprise you that many people, including you, are already averaging about 4-5,000 steps per day. So, if taking time to ‘go for a walk ‘is the problem, here are five easy ways you can add more steps to your day simply by adjusting your usual routine.
- Park far away when going shopping or to work. Do something good for your body and let someone else have that front space. This is a very easy habit to create.
- Walk when you’re on the phone. Take your personal call outside or in the hallway and walk. Not only will this benefit you, but other people will appreciate not having to hear your conversation.
- Move when you’re at the office. Avoid the email, instant messenger or phone, and walk to someone’s office if you have a question or need help.
- Take the stairs any chance you can. Learn where the stair cases are located at your office, dorm, school, shopping center or parking garage. This is a very easy way to get your heart pumping, burn some calories and move your body.
- Make family time, walking time. What a better way to reconnect than to take a walk after dinner with the family or after breakfast on the weekends. Another easy way is to plan vacations that include walking activities.
Finally if you need a little extra motivation to increase your walking activity level, here are a few local areas to walk in the Charleston Lowcountry. These places are perfect to take a short walking break alone or to enjoy with the family or friends on a weekend day trip.
- Charleston Waterfront Park
- Fort Sumter National Monument
- White Point Gardens – Previous post about this beautiful location – Using the Charleston Battery as your Outdoor Gym
- James Island County Park
- Ravenel Bridge Walking/Running Path
Now are you convinced that you should add walking to your workout routine? How about just adding a few extra steps to your day? I challenge you to consider one of the ways mentioned above you can add extra steps to your day and do it for at least one week. Let us know how you felt afterwards. I bet you’ll be amazed by how much better you feel.
Walking is easy, can be done throughout your day and the best part – it’s free and because of that, it might even take you to unexplored places you’ve been wishing to visit.
Pics by Pixabay