Start walking to feel better now!

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Do you want to lose weight, boost your energy or just stay active?  Walking could be the way for you.

 

Walking is a fun way to exercise that doesn’t involve equipment, a gym membership or workout apparel. Put on a pair of comfortable shoes and get moving!

 

3 great benefits of walking

  • It is good for your health. Walking is not only great exercise for your heart, it also lowers your risk for type 2 diabetes, stroke and some cancers.1

  • It is good for your mind. Keep a healthy mind well into your golden years! Walking has been shown to improve brain function and even reduce the risk of dementia.2
  • It is good for your attitude. Want a quick mood boost? Take a walk! Exercise releases

    endorphins3, feel good chemicals that reduce stress and enhance your mood. Plus, you’ll get a surge of energy.

 

Experts recommend 2.5 hours a week of moderate activity.4

 

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5 ways to turn walking into a healthy habit

 

  • Set a goal. Your goal depends on your health and activity level. If you’ve been fairly sedentary, start small and try to walk 10-15 minutes a day, several times a week. If you are more fit, challenge yourself with a more frequent regimen or longer distance.
  • Count your steps. A pedometer measures how many steps you take during the day. Wear a device to track how many steps you are taking.
  • Use an app to journal your progress. Whenever you walk, record your time, how many miles you walked, how you feel and other useful information worth monitoring, such as your heart rate or weight. Tracking your progress will help you stay motivated.  You can do this wearable health trackers or through an app on your phone.
  • Enlist the aid of a partner. Walking is more fun with others. Invite your spouse, neighbor, friend or children to join you. Not only will you have someone to chat with, you’ll also have someone who will hold you accountable to your new routine.
  • Keep boredom at bay. To break up the monotony of an all-too-familiar route, go to a local park or hit a hiking trail. The change of surface will make it more engaging and may enhance your workout.

 

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5 ways to get more exercise in your day

  • park at the far end of the parking lot, or in a central location, and walk to do your errands
  • take the stairs instead of the elevator
  • walk laps around the house during TV commercials, or at least stand up and sit back down
  • walk while you talk. Whether it is on the phone or in-person
  • set a time, whether it is during lunch or break time, lace up your sneakers and head out for a short walk

 

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Stay safe while you are walking.

  • although you may live in a safe area, it helps to be vigilant about safety when you are walking
  • carry identification with your name, address and a family member or friend’s phone number with you
  • wear a medical bracelet if you have a medical condition such as diabetes, allergies or a heart condition, it could save your life
  • bring your cell phone.  If you get lost or feel unsafe, you can use GPS to find your way or call for help
  • tell a family member of friend where you are going and approximately how long you will be gone
  • keep the volume low on your headset so you can hear what is going on around you, whether it is other pedestrians, cyclists or traffic - better yet, don't wear a headset, walk in nature and enjoy the sounds
  • wear light-colored or reflective clothing and carry a flashlight if it is dark outside.  This will help drivers see you, especially when you cross the street or have to walk in the road

 

Woman walking in rural landscape

 

Want to start walking but need a bit of help? 

Let us help motivate you to get moving with NSactive, our new digital health program designed to get you active.  To learn more, give us a call at 480.990.1111.

 

 

 

 

References:

  1. PMC1402378
  2. PMC4055254
  3. PMC3501262
  4. 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans