The benefits of walking are many and yet so few seem to take advantage of them. And, I wonder why?
Walking as an activity requires little preparation – just get dressed and go. It needs very little in special clothing except comfortable shoes. It can be done in any weather and any location, making it ideal even when travelling or on vacation.
Walking can be done in groups as a social activity or spontaneously as a solo event.
Walking benefits your heart. It can contribute to weight loss. It is relatively easy on your joints. And it is a weight-bearing exercise so it helps to prevent osteoporosis.
Walking is a form of exercise, so it stimulates healthy hormones and “feel good” endorphins. A walk at any time can lift our spirits – helping to minimize or eliminate depressed feelings.
So why don’t more people just get out and “do it”?
Perhaps they lack confidence. Maybe some don’t fancy solo trips in their neighbourhood or strange cities – thinking it a lonely activity. Others may think it’s more complicated than it is, and so think they lack enough information to get started. And a few may feel unsafe.
If you fall into any of those categories, you can get started by taking a clinic and/or joining a walking group. I have personally experienced both and can recommend either as a starting point.
A walking clinic can give you the information you need to boost your confidence. The Walking Room aka the Running Room offers great clinics to get you started.
A walking group provides companionship and a place to share experience. It also provides a social atmosphere and can be a strong motivator when you know that your peers are waiting for you on the corner after work or at 8:30 in the morning. The Running Room also has walking groups that meet twice a week. There is no charge to join – any time.
Another alternative is to find a single walking partner who will motivate you to keep to a regular schedule. I walk once a week with a neighbour.
Or you can make walking part of your daily routine. I exchanged a 5 minute bus ride for a 25 minute walk to or from my subway station on days that I go to work. This means that a daily walk is in my “fitness plan”. And it is part of my daily “pleasure” too!
What’s stopping you? Will you join us next Sunday morning?
Great article! Walking really is such an underrated form of physical activity. I hope you inspired someone to get walkin’! 🙂