The title above is a quote from Hippocrates. Who knew, thousands of years later, it would still be true. We all exercise in a variety of ways, with different goals and different strengths. However, a universal exercise is walking. It requires no special equipment, no special clothing, and no advance conditioning. It can be done anywhere, and it is easy on your joints. It can be done in short or long bouts with excellent benefits.
The benefits of walking are many:
- Burns almost as many calories as jogging with less stress on the body
- Slims your waist
- Lowers blood pressure
- Lessens anxiety
- Reduces level of bad cholesterol
- Reduces risk of heart attack
- Enhances stamina and energy
- Improves muscle tone
- Reduces appetite
- Slows bone loss of osteoporosis
Studies have shown that walking is more natural than sitting, standing or jogging. It is not nearly as stressful on the body as running.
In order to get the most out your walk, be sure to get the right shoes. This is the single most important piece of equipment, and can make the difference between fun and pain.
Secondly, use good posture when walking. Keep your head up and spine straight. Look straight ahead and keep arms and shoulders loose. Never hold your breath, but instead take deep, regular breaths. Keep a brisk pace but don’t run. Take long, smooth strides with your arms swinging for balance. Finally, if you feel any pain, stop.
Walking for fitness is the best medicine that you can give your body, so lace up and enjoy!