Walking is one of the most beneficial ways of getting in some exercise. It’s easy to do because everyone walks at some point during their day. Some people walk more than others during the day because of work or other activities, so they may already get a lot of benefits out of it. For the rest of us, though, there are things we need to look at that not only help us get a great benefit out of it, but things we need to do to make sure we protect ourselves.
First, some of the benefits. Let’s detail some of them:
1. It’s easy to do. Everyone walks. Even people who need walkers can get some exercise in with a walker. People with leg injuries may walk slower than normal, but they can still walk.
2. It’s easy on the joints. Walking is the easiest thing one can do for exercise as far as their joints are concerned. One can walk at a slow pace and still get a nice benefit from it as long as they’re exerting themselves in some fashion. And that person can always find a cushioned place to walk, even if it’s in grass, to help lessen the joint stress even more.
3. Walking can be done at different paces. One doesn’t always have to walk as fast as possible just to get a workout. You can speed up, slow down, or stay at a steady pace and you still get something out of it.
4. You can walk in any kind of weather. It can be warm or cold, dry or wet or snowy. All you have to do is change shoes, and off you go. Sure, there may be one type of weather that you feel is more comfortable than another, but you can always dress for the weather as needed.
5. Walking gives you time to think and reflect. If you walk with someone else, it gives you time just to talk without any interruptions (especially if you turn your cell phone off). And if you walk by yourself, you can either take that time to think about things listen to music, or listen to books on tape. If you go to a visual place such as a lake or parkway, you can stimulate other things in your mind at the same time.
Those are some benefits of walking. Some things you need to watch out for include:
1. Make sure not to overheat. Walking may not be overly stressful, but it is still exercise, and people can overheat without thinking about it. So, bring water and keep your body protected as much as you can.
2. Wear the proper shoes. Wearing the wrong shoes will tell on your feet once you get them off. Always make sure your shoes have lots of cushioning in them.
3. Don’t over-push. Many people will think of walking as something they can do without any work whatsoever, but that doesn’t mean you’re in condition to walk five miles your first time out. Plan your walk, and at least plan on stopping here and there for a rest.
If you combine the benefits with the protections, walking can be an enjoyable and safe way to exercise and contemplate about life.