Many people have very busy lifestyles but that’s no reason not to be active. Walking is the easiest form of exercise for most of us and research has show that it could add up to seven years to your life and delay ageing.
The research also shows that walking is an anti-depressant and improves cognition. It also keeps the heart healthy and is suitable for those with a heart condition, although you should always check with your doctor before you begin any form of exercise. In addition walking also strengthens your muscles and bones, thus reducing the risk of osteoporosis.
If you’re very unfit or overweight you need to begin gently and build up the time and distance gradually. If your those used to walking regularly at a leisurely pace, you’ll get even more benefit from going the extra mile.
You should begin by increasing the amount of general walking you do and gradually build up the intensity and duration as the weeks progress. Try to fit in about 150 minutes per week of moderate physical exercise. You can do this by walking for at lest 10 minutes every day and continue to do this until you feel comfortable. This means you should be breathing a little faster, feeling a slightly warmer, but still feel comfortable and be able to talk.
As the weeks progress and you start speed up you can start to your quicken your stride as you walk. Flex your elbows as you walk, work through your shoulders more and be purposeful. This extra effort will help tone muscles and burn more calories.
You can go walking locally by yourself or get some friends to join you so that it becomes social as well as improving your fitness. As you progress you could look for any local walking groups and when you’re ready for longer distances you could check out your local Rambler’s Association.
Whatever you choose enjoy your walking!