In the age of The Biggest Loser, Celebrity Fit Club, and Shedding for the Wedding, weight loss and wellness have gotten lost in high-drama antics. With all of these theatrics, it’s easy to look past the real superstar of physical fitness — walking. Of all physical exercises, walking is one of, if not the, best exercise out there (think of walking as the Beyonce of exercises). Along with it’s abundance of benefits, walking is also free, fun, and anyone can do it! Read below for the benefits of walking and how to get started.
Regular walking can strengthen your heart and lower your risk of disease. It lowers LDL (bad cholesterol) and keeps blood pressure under control. “Anything that raises your heart rate and gets your blood pumping is a workout for your heart and circulatory system,” Stuart Amory, a personal trainer, told Tesco Living. Controlling blood pressure lessens the risk of stroke and can reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, asthma, and some cancers.
Moderate-intensity exercise has been shown to boost mood and reduce anxiety and depression. Exercise releases feel-good endorphins into the bloodstream, lifting your mood. Want even more good vibes? Get a friend to join you. Social activity makes us feel connected to others. Get double the effect when you use your time while walking to catch up with a friend, make a new connection, or discuss your weight loss goals, pitfalls, and accomplishments.
Walking isn’t the fanciest exercise. It requires no special equipment, anyone can do it, and Shaun T isn’t about to make an infomercial about it. But, despite its lack of hype, walking is a great way to tone up your entire body. A brisk walk (especially if it includes some hills) can strengthen your legs, lift your glutes, and tone your calves, quads, and hamstrings. Pay attention to your posture while walking and you could also tone your abs and slim your waistline. Add in some upper body pumping and you could tone up your arms, back, and shoulders. Not too shabby, eh?
If the coffee just isn’t cutting it in the afternoon, try taking a quick walk. Walking is Mother Nature’s caffeine — a great natural energizer without any of post-caffeine crash. Walking boosts circulation and increases oxygen supply to the cells in your body making you feel more alert and invigorated.
Try to incorporate walking into your daily routine and make it a habit. If physical activity isn’t a part of your current regimen, start small. Begin with 5-10 minute walks every other day. The next week, try to increase your time to 15-20 minutes. As you get more comfortable, add more days until you are walking at least five days a week. Use Noom’s pedometer to track your steps and follow your progress from week to week. The pedometer sets goals for you based on how you’ve done in the past, allowing you to challenge yourself as your progress. Track your walks using Noom’s exercise tracker and you could up your daily calorie allowance. Happiness, energy, and extra treats? What’re you waiting for? Get to steppin’!