What is the simplest exercise in the world? Walking! Walking is the best exercise!Walking requires no special equipment, no expensive gym membership, and can be done anywhere, anytime. The only thing you need is a good pair of walking shoes and a water bottle. Keep them in your car so when you find an extra 10 minutes, you can go for a brisk walk anytime.
The risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer and diabetes can be reduced just by walking for 10 minutes a day. 30 minutes daily is recommended at least 3 times per week, but you can do this in 10 minute spurts throughout the day. Walking is a great way to relieve a stressful day in the office – take 10 minutes a lunch to walk – simple!
Here are some tips for walking to well-being:
- Walk more mindfully. Be aware of mind, body and soul as you walk. Notice everything around you: nature, sounds, and sights. If you can walk with nature, it will enhance the experience. Besides being more relaxing, it is more beneficial to walk on an uneven surface – you burn more calories than on a flat, even surface.
- Related to mindful walking is to walk meditatively. Focus on your footsteps, each step up and each step down. Notice your surroundings but keep your mind focused on your footsteps. If your mind starts to wander, bring it back to your footsteps, up and down, up and down. Breathe regularly. Meditation does not need to be done inside. It is highly restorative to the soul to mediate while out in nature.
- Walking outside can relive stress and ease anxiety and depression. Walking on a treadmill is good for you, but it is boring! Nature is a great way to improve your mood and lift your spirits. Treadmills have a purpose, but in my opinion should be used only when the weather is so bad that you can’t go out. Even walking in the rain is a mood lifter if you can get past the squishy shoes!
- Walk with a buddy. It is so much more fun and it enhances emotional well-being. It also holds you accountable. If you know someone is waiting on you, then you are more likely to continue. It is a great way to build relationships and keep in touch with each other when life gets to busy. Remember, even 10 minutes can boost your health and happiness level.
- Try a new route. Exercise can get routine. If you walk the same route every day,
you will get bored and your brain will get bored. Try walking in a different neighborhood or subdivision. If you have the chance, walk on the beach. Try hiking in the woods, or walking up and down some hills. Try walking around the outside of a shopping mall or business office. This is the beauty of walking- you can do it virtually anywhere!
- Use technology as your friend. Get a fitness tracker or download one of the many free apps that tracks your mileage your time, your speed, whatever is important to you. Most of these apps allow you to chart your progress on the computer, so you can see how you have improved. This is a great motivator for those who are self-competitive. Many also include a GPS so you can walk in neighborhoods that you may not know as well as your own.
- Finally, find a reason to walk that helps others. Once you have been bitten by the walking bug, it is great to find a walk to do that helps a charity. There are dozens of walks (think Avon Walk, Walk for Juvenile Diabetes,etc). There is even an app for your phone that donates money from corporate sponsors for every mile you walk. Look for the Charity Miles app on your phone. These walks are a great motivator – you have a goal to work towards which will keep you going, and you are helping others at the same time.
So get out and do the simplest exercise available – just walk your way to good health!