Almost any one can do it. No special equipment or gym memberships are needed. It can be done year-round, indoors or out, in bad weather, alone or with others.
Major benefits include improved weight, muscle tone, bone density, breathing, stamina, strength, stress reduction and mental clarity.
Oh yeah, all that from walking—an easy, affordable way to get the body moving!
- Park the car and commit to using it only to reach destinations more than a mile away.
- When driving, park further away from the store, bank, school, work, etc. At the mall, park at the opposite end of your destination. In apartment complexes, park the car and retrieve the mail from the central mail bay on foot.
- At work, take a quick, brisk walk after lunch - just 15 minutes every day. It helps digestion too!
- At home, set an alarm to remind you to get up every 30-45 minutes from the TV or computer and walk.
- Pace or walk in place while you are on the phone, especially during long conversations or conference calls.
- Frequent venues (farmer's markets, museums, art galleries, parks, sporting events) and choose activities (hiking, yard work, shopping, kite flying) that require walking. Discover and patronize local neighborhood businesses that are easily reached on foot.
- Utilize the local Park 'n Rides and take public transportation, perhaps even just 1 or 2 days a week.
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator.
- Get a pedometer, set a goal (most strive for 5000 steps a day - roughly 2.5 miles), and keep it fun. Maybe a friend will be your accountability partner.
- Search out and join a walking club like the Osprey Club, a group of seniors who meet to walk every weekday morning at Lacamas Lake in Vancouver, and similar clubs in Portland. Look for groups that don't have rules or dues - just folks getting together to walk.
Remember, every single step counts. With a little consistency, you'll be amazed at how quickly walking can become a part of your healthy lifestyle.
Portland Holistic Health Examiner Aqiylah Collins is passionate about the integration of faith, healing, and self care and their role in the development of holistic health and living.
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