Walking is one of the best activities you can do for your health, but how do you maintain your interest when the trail gets well worn?
Although walking has been enjoyed as an activity for generations, it’s seen a resurgence of popularity as a low-impact, low-tech, effective way to exercise — increasingly critical as the world has plunged into epidemics of obesity and type 2 diabetes.
With very little time or expense, anyone can enjoy the physical and mental benefits of walking. Walking has been shown to reduce your risk for heart disease and stroke, improve you blood pressure and blood sugar levels, help you maintain or lose weight, improve your mood, and reduce the risk for diseases such as osteoporosis and certain cancers.
You can enjoy the health benefits of walking in just 30 minutes a day, and you don’t have to do it all at once. Breaking up the time into more manageable 10- or 15-minute bursts has been shown to be just as effective as doing it all at once, and all you really need is a good pair of shoes.
So walking is good for you. Not a new idea. And you buy into it — but you’re bored. Here are some ideas to help freshen things up and possibly deliver additional health benefits to your walking ritual.
Walk with a friend. Again, not a new idea, but if you’re teetering on the precipice of throwing in the towel, accountability to another person may provide the extra motivation you need to keep going. If you’ve been walking solo, inviting a friend could freshen up your routine in a way that will keep your interest. Consider inviting someone you don’t know that well, and discover all of the interesting things you have to talk about as you get to know each other on your walks. Sharing something you enjoy with another person can also provide mental health benefits.
August 24, 2017
Janet O’Dell, RN