I’m rediscovering the benefits of walking after a long stretch of inactivity. I’d been pretty inactive for a long while. And then I had a couple of weird injuries, which made even walking to the bathroom painful. First, I developed weird shin pain that the ER doctor blamed on in infection from swimming in pig poop with a fresh tattoo. That turned out to be false, but the origin of the pain and swelling is still a mystery. Then I fell in the bathtub and got the worst bruise ever. Being exhausted and hurting with every move made me really admire people who deal with chronic pain.
I’m finally doing better and am working on getting my endurance and flexibility built up again. Walking is always a good place to start.
Benefits of walking: low impact
If you haven’t exercised in a while, or are looking for something easy you can do every single day give walking a try. It’s the perfect low impact way to exercise. It’s easy to do, you don’t need any special equipment and you can start at the fitness level you’re at.
If you’re not in the best of shape, start by going for a 10 or 15 minute walk around the neighborhood and work your way up from there. I love doing laps around Target.
If you’re already in great shape, walking can still provide an effective workout. Walk fast and incorporate some hills and even stairs.
But, let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. If you’re like most of us, chances are you’ve been too tired and busy to hit the gym and need to start small. Maybe your doctor suggested that you move around more, or maybe you just want to be proactive about your health and well-being. In either case, walking is the perfect way to start. And spoiler alert: you do have the time and it will give you more energy once you push yourself to consistently do it.
So many choices!
Find a pair of comfortable walking shoes, put them on and go for a stroll through your neighborhood. Bonus points if your shoes are cute, too! Mine are pink. I’m more motivated to workout out in cute sneakers. New leggings with pockets or fun socks help, too!
If your neighborhood isn’t great for walking, find a local park with a nice path you can walk on. If the weather doesn’t permit walking outside, head to your local mall and walk or hop on a treadmill.
You can even walk in place at home in front of your TV. Here’s a simple little idea to get you moving more. As you’re sitting on the couch at night watching TV, get up during commercial breaks and march in place until your favorite TV show comes back on. If you’re using a service like Netflix, make yourself walk in place for 10 minutes in between episodes of “Dead Like Me.” Or turn on the TV and challenge yourself to march in place during the entire show. Time will fly while you’re having fun watching TV and moving.
Speaking of having fun, going for a walk outside can be a lot of fun too. Mix up your route and walk in different areas of town, or visit different parks. Invite a friend to come along with you to walk. It’s always nice to have someone to talk to and having a walking buddy keeps you accountable. Last but not least, grab your phone and listen to music or audio books as you walk to make the time go by faster.
The main thing is that you get out there, move around, and get some exercise in a way that’s gentle on your joints, your heart, and the rest of your body and that’s what walking will do for you. Just give it a try and see if you don’t start to feel better, happier, and stronger after a few weeks of regular walks.
I feel so much better when I’m active. Walking is like meditation for me. My mind works through worries and ideas. I sleep better, am less sore and am in a better mood when I exercise consistently, even if it’s just a ten minute walk with the dogs each evening. I put on some cute pink sneakers, blast Lizzo and hit the pavement in our neighborhood.
I’m going to post some more info about walking over the next week or two. Sharing with you helps me stay motivated, too!