Need a Reason to Take a Walk?
Studies indicate that a regular walking program (working up to at least five walks a week of at least 30 minutes each) may:
- Increase your energy level
- Enhance your mood
- Lower stress
- Reduce depression
- Improve sleep
- Help you lose weight
- Help control blood pressure and cholesterol levels
- Strengthen your muscles and bones and reduce your risk for osteoporosis
- Improve fitness and stamina
- Provide an outlet for socializing
- Lower your risk of certain diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, breast cancer and heart disease
Be sure to consult your healthcare provider before beginning an exercise program.
Get a Foot Up on Fitness
Put one foot in front of the other.
Repeat … again, and again and again.
If that's the only recipe you know of for fitness walking, then maybe it's time to spice up your routine.
Walking is hands-down one of the best forms of exercise, offering a host of potential mental and physical health benefits. It's easy and -- other than the cost of a good pair of walking shoes -- free.
Walking every day is good for you. It has wonderful benefits for the heart, lungs, and circulatory system. It can help you manage your weight and control your blood pressure and cholesterol.
But it’s like a daily bowl of oatmeal—healthy, but pretty bland until the cinnamon, dried fruit or brown sugar is added. To make walking something you can look forward to each day, add the ingredients that appeal to you personally.
“For a patient to be considered for hip replacement surgery, an orthopedic surgeon must see evidence on an X-ray of significant damage to the articular cartilage,” says David Heskiaoff, MD, Orthopedic Surgeon. Major indications for hip replacement surgery include:
If you like a challenge. Jazz up your routine by raising the bar. For example, if it’s your habit to walk a two-mile course in 30 minutes, next week aim to complete the same course in 29 minutes or keep walking for 30 minutes, but try to walk an extra block or two in the same amount of time.
Or set a long-term goal: If a two-mile hike is a challenge, how can you step up your routine to walk five miles six months from now?
If you like company. Finding a walking partner, whether a colleague from work, a friend or your spouse, can provide that extra motivation to get out every day and walk, and it cuts down on the boredom factor.
If you like gadgets. Buy yourself a pedometer to track how many steps you take each day or a heart monitor to keep yourself in the right cardiovascular zone. Or, use walking as an excuse to purchase a portable music player and create or purchase a walking playlist to keep you on pace.
If you like serenity.
Stressed out? Find a quiet, peaceful walking route.
If you are trying to lose weight. If you’re overweight, walking is a good moderate-intensity activity that puts much less stress on your joints than running. But to use it as a weight-loss tool, understand that you’ll need to commit to walking every single day. Fit it into your lifestyle to continually provide that energy expenditure.
Remember that you won’t lose weight if you don’t also control the calories you take in by eating a healthy diet.
If you're a fitness fan. You can build up to vigorous exercise by taking on the challenge of race walking or “power walking.” The faster you walk in a given period of time, the more you’ll be working your cardiovascular system and the more calories you’ll burn. You can get similar results by maintaining your speed while walking up hills.
If you are building strength. An ideal overall fitness program will couple walking or another form of cardiovascular exercise with strength training. Carry hand weights and do exercises while walking. If you really want a workout, wear ankle weights, a weighted backpack or even your child in a backpack carrier.