Get out and walk it off

It requires no equipment, is both free of charge and friendly to the environment, and can be easily performed by the majority of the population. It reduces your risk of heart disease, diabetes and obesity among other health concerns.

Of all the workouts that we can do at the gym, walking is the one exercise that could be the most beneficial to our health – and it is something that most of us are able to do at any given time.

Walking is an ideal form of exercise. Taking just a couple of 10-minute walks a few times each day can decrease depression and aid in weight loss.

This form of lifestyle activity is especially valuable because it does not require strenuous effort or what we consider to be “working out.” People are more likely to stick with an exercise activity if it is a part of their daily life than they are if they think of it as a job they have to do.

Choose to walk instead of taking the bus or driving and you will already be well on your way to improving your health.

Go for a walk in the morning to energize yourself for the workday and go for a walk in the evening to relax and unwind after a busy day.

To track you progress with this simple workout, try wearing a pedometer from morning until night for at least a couple of days. You will be able to see how many steps you are getting in each day and you will be able to determine from there how many steps you should increase your daily walks by. Sedentary adults often only get in about 5,000 steps a day, but it is advisable to aim for at least 10,000 steps per day to reap the maximum health benefits.

Although it is a good idea to incorporate strength training and different forms of exercise into your schedule, if you are tight on time, walking is an excellent gym standby. Walking strengthens our legs and core muscles. Depending on your speed, pumping your arms can also increase upper body strength.

By going for longer walks we can increase our endurance, while shorter walks have the benefit of increasing our energy when we hit a midday slump.

Maintain good posture while you walk to prevent back injury and to stabilize yourself in case you trip.

Walking in the winter requires a little bit of extra preparation to ensure your comfort and enjoyment, in addition to protecting against the cold weather. Invest in a good pair of boots that are both warm and have good traction so that you don’t take a tumble on the slippery ice hidden beneath snow. To prevent the chill from reaching your skin, wrap your entire body up warmly.

Being cold can have a major impact on whether or not you are motivated to get out there even for a short walk!

University of Winnipeg student Sagan Morrow writes a health and wellness blog. Check it out at http://livingintherealworld.net/healthy.

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