Walking for Health and Fitness – Get into a Habit of Exercising

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The importance of walking for health and fitness cannot be overstated. It’s a simple exercise that everyone does naturally. Walking is low impact and it’s a great way to start getting in the habit of exercising.

Low Impact
Walking is low impact and there are almost no health risks for doing it. Okay, you could actually trip and fall down but you can fall down doing just about anything.

Jogging and running (especially sprinting) place a lot of stress on your knees and ankles and there’s an increased risk of falling. But walking has none of those risks.

Good Aerobic Exercise
Especially for out of shape people, walking is a good basic aerobic exercise. You can get a good amount of exertion just from taking a brisk 30 minute walk, whether it’s at the park, around the block or even at a mall. Hey, whatever motivates you to get out there and moving! Just do it.

Making It Harder
You can make your walks harder by adding some more nature to them. Walking around a track or on roads is pretty regular, but you can make your walks tougher by going on trails.

If you have a park, forest, greenbelt, or other bit of nature near you, use it! The irregularity of trails stresses your muscles in different ways and you can choose a hilly route if you want to stress yourself even more.

Equipment? 
walking-for-health-fitnessNone. Well, shoes and clothing but I really hope you don’t need me to tell you to wear those. You don’t need a gym membership, special exercise equipment, dumbbells or barbells, or anything else. Just you, your shoes and a place to walk to.

People Are Built to Walk
People are naturally built to walk. Not to sit on our backsides typing, nor to swim or practice Yoga.

The human body is made to walk in a very effective and efficient manner. We can walk slowly for long distances, without excessive tiring because that’s how people used to move around most of the time. Back before cars, wagons and other modern conveniences, walking was our primary mode of transportation.

One of the more interesting facts about walking is how walking speed correlates to vitality. Younger people (less than 30 years old) generally walk about 20 percent faster than elderly people. As you age, you literally slow down. Keeping your walking speed high by walking regularly will not only give you a workout, but will also greatly increase your overall health and life expectancy.

But Walking Is Just The Beginning
Walking is great and there are tons of benefits from doing it. These benefits include the act of adding exercise to your routine, aerobic benefits, overall quality of life benefits, and an improved sense of self because you know you’re taking care of your body.

If you want to kick your workout up a notch, there’s so much more than walking that you can include in your fitness plan. From walking, you can move up to jogging and running, if that appeals to you. You might also move into basic weight training to build up your muscles and increase your bone density. Or, you can start dancing, rock climbing, doing Tai Chi or even Yoga.

The list goes on and on! Walking is great, and once you’re used to regularly walking, you can add other fun exercises into your workout mix also!

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About Author

Aaron McCloud

Aaron McCloud has had a longstanding interest in exercise and fitness. When he was 13, he started practicing martial arts (Japanese swordsmanship and Aikido), which then grew into a passion for strength training and exercise in high school and college. See my profile page for more information!

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