Take a walk

Walking is one of the best exercises we can do to keep our bodies healthy. Walking is inexpensive and available any time on any day of the week.

A close up of someone's shoes as they walk on a track.
Photo: Pexels/Andrea Piacquadio.

You probably have heard that you should exercise for at least 30 minutes daily, at least five days a week. The good news is that all 30 minutes of exercise don’t need to be done all at once. You can break it up into three ten-minute or even six five-minute sessions. Not sure where to start? Consider adding some walking into your routine.

You don’t have to go to the gym or get special equipment to start walking, which makes it the ideal exercise for those who haven’t exercised in a long time or maybe have never exercised. Walking is a weight-bearing exercise that will help strengthen muscles and bones, which lowers the risk of osteoporosis. Walking improves overall health and can lower the risk of heart disease and other chronic diseases like diabetes. It also can lower blood pressure and reduce body weight and the risk of obesity.

The best part about walking is that it’s free! Walking can be done at any age and anywhere. Many individuals live in neighborhoods where sidewalks or low-traveled roads allow walking. However, if you live in a congested area, you might want to try walking in the grocery store, at a local mall or checking with a neighborhood school to see if they have walking times or a track you can walk around in good weather. Some gyms have time reserved for older adults to walk for little or no cost.

If you’re unable to walk, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that you talk to your healthcare provider about finding a type of activity that is right for you and your fitness level. For adults needing assistive devices such as canes or walkers, take your device with you and give yourself time.

Make walking fun! If you’re able to walk outside, try taking different routes to enjoy the scenery. Walk with a friend or form a walking club. Keep track of how far you’ve walked. As the miles add up, you’ll be encouraged to keep going. Pick a favorite destination and keep track of the number of miles it takes to get there.

Walking is a great way to start to fulfill that promise that you would do more physical activity this year, and springtime is a great time to start.

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