Whether you have always lived an active lifestyle or have never stepped foot into the gym, walking is an exercise for all. For those of you who want to get active, but struggle with the idea of walking into a gym full of already “fit people” or can’t begin to imagine working out at 4:30 am due to your work schedule: stop. Stop filling your mind with all of the impossibilities and think about what you can do. You can walk. Walking has a ton of benefits and won’t consume your downtime. Whether you are just starting off or you’re already active, put aside 15-20 minutes in your day to simply, go for a mile walk. A mile walk each day has been proven to reduce anxiety, stress and help with weight loss. You can walk anywhere! Walk around your neighborhood, find some walking trails around your area, go to a high school and walk the track, or, if you are a dog owner, go to a park and take your dog with you! It is a win-win for both of you. Keep your cell phone in your pocket, just enjoy the sounds, smells, and the fresh air. Let your mind take a break from social media, screen time and work. Just be. Take some deep breaths before you begin your walk and actively allow your body to relax while you enjoy this time you have set aside just for you.
As you find yourself getting better at putting aside the time and are starting to see the benefits to your physical and mental health, try to increase your distance every two weeks. Work your way up to three miles and you have just completed a 5k, while more than likely having lost a pound, too! According to Mint Habits, walking 3 miles each week and a brisk pace can help you lose up to an additional pound per week.
If you know yourself well enough and know you will always give an excuse as to why you cannot go, think of Rachel Hollis, NY Times best-selling author, “If you constantly make and break promises to yourself, you’re not making promises at all. You’re only talking. Never break a promise to yourself.”
Here are some ways to help you keep your promise:
- Schedule your walk with a friend
- Write it on your calendar or put an alarm on your phone
- Download an App that helps – try Nike, MapMyRun, or Couch to 5k
Still Skeptical of Walking? Here are a few ways walking promotes a healthy lifestyle:
- Improves Heart Health
- Improves Joint Health
- Helps lose a moderate amount of fat
- Reduces stress and anxiety
- Helps slow mental degradation
- Allots a specific time of the day that just yours
You have one life to live. Make it a healthy one!