The Benefits of Walking…

The Benefits of Walking...
The Benefits of Walking...

Thinking about adding more physical activity to your day? Walking can be a great way to get more active.

Try these tips to help make walking a part of your daily routine.
What are the benefits of walking?

Walking is the most popular physical activity among adults. Taking a walk is low cost and doesn’t require any special clothes or equipment.
Walking may lower your risk of health problems like high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes.

  • strengthen your bones and muscles
  • help you burn more calories
  • lift your mood

How do I start?
1. Make a plan

The following questions may help you get started:
Where will you walk?
How often will you walk?
Who will walk with you?
How far or for how long will you walk?

2. Get ready

Make sure you have anything you may need. Here are some examples:
shoes with proper arch support, a firm heel, and thick flexible soles
clothes that keep you dry and comfortable
a hat or visor for the sun, sunscreen, and sunglasses
a hat and scarf to cover your head and ears when it’s cold outside.

3. Go

Divide your walk into three parts:
Warm up by walking slowly.
Increase your speed to a brisk walk. This means walking fast enough to raise your heart rate while still being able to speak and breathe easily.
Cool down by slowing down your pace.
When walking, be sure to use proper form:
Keep your chin up and your shoulders slightly back.
Let the heel of your foot touch the ground first, and then roll your weight forward.
Walk with your toes pointed forward.
Swing your arms naturally.

4. Add more

As walking becomes easier, walk faster and go farther. Keep track of your progress with a walking journal or log. Record date, time, and distance. Set goals and reward yourself with a relaxing shower or 30 minutes of quiet time to yourself.
Clinical trials that are currently open and are recruiting can be viewed at www.ClinicalTrials.govExternal Link Disclaimer.

This content is provided as a service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), part of the National Institutes of Health. The NIDDK translates and disseminates research findings through its clearinghouses and education programs to increase knowledge and understanding about health and disease among patients, health professionals, and the public. Content produced by the NIDDK is carefully reviewed by NIDDK scientists and other experts.

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3 COMMENTS

  1. I started walking after I left my 20 year marriage to help me deal with the pain and stay away from extreme depression. I knew if I didn’t focus on something, I would fall into a black hole of despair. It is what saved me. Not only did it help me mentally, but I also have now lost a total of 150 pounds from it. I have been obese all my life, I was 325 pounds…..Now I’m 175… I have never felt and looked so good! And I have a whole new world available. Some can’t understand what a thrill it is to play on a jungle gym, and fit to go down a slide. I never could before. I was embarrassed by the weight,but never thought I could actually lose it. Now I can do anything!! I climb rock walls, jump off waterfalls, even walk miles without breathing hard. I’m almost surprised sometimes still when size large or medium clothes fit me. I was a 4x, size 52 waist. Now I’m a 30 waist! So I say do it, put in some headphones with your favorite music and go, and always do another lap, when you’ve done a lot and your tired, breath deep turn up the music and do one more mile! I’m up to 5 miles a day now, if not more.

  2. I was forced to walk by circumstances beyond my control. Before I walked my situation had become very negative. The negativity that others felt made me angry and uncertain. When I walked it helped me process my anger and I would feel better unless my walk was beyond fatigue. That’s when I would feel hopeless. If my walk was just long enough my spirits would be lifted and I would let go of my resentment. I began noticing if someone walked with me and showed negativity than I would immediately become stressed and weighed down and the resentment would come back. So I expressed myself by saying that I couldn’t endure any negativity during our walk and to my surprise it helped. I also have noticed in my life now living in different circumstances that I might need to start walking again. I just need the weather to get cooler because I cannot walk in the heat due to health reasons. Maybe if the good lord is willing the negativity will come to an end. Depression is fast setting in and I need a miracle.

  3. Walking has been the most rewarding effort I have done for myself. It’s the only thing that worked for losing weight and keeping it off that I’ve ever tried. Morning walking makes me feel better mentally and and and physically.

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