Walking 101

Walking 101

By Joni Garcia MS, RD, Contributing Blogger

My husband and I rescued a puppy a few months ago.  He is the cutest and most energetic little ball of fur! The only thing that keeps him out of trouble and is making sure he gets enough exercise every day. I live in a city and don’t have a backyard for the pup to run around in, so I have to walk him every day. We take about five walks a day (yes, five!). I like to walk, probably more than most people, but I never imagined having to walk THIS much! Besides being good-for-me, walking is one of the easiest ways to get active and it has the lowest dropout rate of any form of exercise. Check out my five top reasons to get walking!

  1. Improved brain function – A recent study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine showed that all forms of exercise, including walking, improve memory and thinking, keep brain cells healthy, and spur the growth of new brain cells.
  2. Reduced stress – Going for a daily walk can help to clear you head and relax you, which helps reduce stress and anxiety.
  3. Improved heart health – Research has shown that exercise, including walking, helps to reduce blood pressure and cholesterol and improves blood sugar control.
  4. Reduced risk of breast cancer – People who exercise tend to have a lower risk of many types of cancer, but a large study published a few years ago in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention linked walking specifically to reduced risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women.
  5. Helps maintain weight – It’s easier to keep a healthy weight when you’re eating well and exercising, rather than just doing one or the other.

Getting Started
Getting started on a walking program is easy.  You don’t need any fancy gear – just a comfortable pair of sneakers. If you are just getting started exercising, you’ll want to start slow – maybe aim for 10 or 15 minutes a day and then increase the time from there. As far as a good pace, you should be breathing a little harder, but not completely out of breath. But before beginning any exercise program, make sure to consult your physician.

Tell Me: What do you like best about walking?  

1 Comment
  • Adam Trainor
    Posted at 16:53h, 04 July Reply

    Having a dog is the greatest way to get outside and have a walk, you have no excuse then because the dog needs a walk/exercise and you are exercising too. But if you don’t have a dog a walk its a light and easy exercise. Doctors recommend 30 minutes of exercise daily but if your new to exercise and walking, like you said just start by doing 10 to 15 minutes. Its a great cardiovascular workout and great for the heart, because its getting blood pumping around the body. Now that summer is in full swing I am seeing more people just going for an evening stroll in the street and the park.

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