Walking is one of the best things we can do to improve our overall health, and increase our longevity and well-being.
Know the benefits
Physical activity doesn’t need to be strenuous or complicated. Something as simple as a daily brisk walk can help you live a healthier life.
For example, regular brisk walking can help you:
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Prevent or manage various conditions, including heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes
- Strengthen your bones and muscles
- Improve your mood and lowers stress
- Improve your balance, coordination and cognitive function
- Lowers blood sugar and cholesterol
Walking for health
Any amount of walking is good for you, but to get the maximum benefits of walking, you need to log some mileage and increase your intensity.
- Walk as much as you can. If your goal is 2,500 steps daily, strive for 5,000! Even 7,000!
- Break it up. We cannot accumulate 5,000-7,000 steps in leisure time only. But if you take walking breaks throughout the day, it is doable. Aim for brisk walking bouts of 10 minutes or more at a time. You’ll get in more steps and decrease the amount of time you spend being sedentary.
- Try intervals. Instead of doing an entire 30-minute walk at the same moderate pace, try high-intensity interval training (HIIT). Alternate between 30 second to 1-minute bursts of faster walking, followed by a minute or two of slower paced recovery.
- Take it uphill. Think of it as getting two for one. When you increase your intensity, such as walking up a steep hill, you get the equivalent benefit in half the time.