By Heide Kennedy, Arizona Farm Bureau Communications Intern
When you think of working out, what typically comes to mind? Often, it’s lifting heavy weights, biking, or running. These are all great examples of different ways to exercise and work out, but did you know that walking is another exercise that can give you plenty of results without a bunch of heavy impact on your joints? Let’s look at some of the ways that walking can be a good addition to your workout routine.
According to the Mayo Clinic, walking can provide you with so many different health benefits. Some of the most significant include:
- Weight loss
- Improved mood
- Reduced stress
- Improves cardiovascular fitness
- Increases energy levels
It is important to note, however, that while we do walk as we go about our everyday lives, walking for fitness takes just a little more effort. To Turn walking into more of a workout, consider increasing your speed, holding a good posture, tightening your thigh and core muscles with each step, and walking for long distances. Another tip is to do intervals of speed walking and intervals of slower-paced walking, as this burns more calories than just regular walking. Also, to increase your motivation, try setting aside a specific time of day to take a walk. I would argue that the best time is right as the sun begins to come out because it’s cooler and it’s a great way to make you feel energized for the rest of the day.
Finally, don’t let the stigma that walking is for old people or that it is just a wimpy workout ruin your perception of this great exercise. After all, I’m only 19 and I love power walking because it doesn’t take as much of a toll on joints as running and biking do. After I injured one of my knees many years ago, running would make it get inflamed and painful, so I opted for power walking as an alternative form of cardio. So, get outside and get walking!
For more exercise articles, check out the Fill Your Plate blog!