Regular exercise is one of the best things you can do for your physical
and mental health – and there’s no easier (or more affordable)
way to get fit than by walking.
Walking helps you maintain a healthy weight, and it reduces your risk for
heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes.
It also builds healthy bones, muscles and joints. And of course, walking
is a natural stress release and mood-booster.
“Walking is a wonderful, low-impact exercise that’s easy to
Elisa Washburn, DO, a family medicine physician with
St. Joseph Health Medical Group in Santa Rosa. “Even if you’re at work, focus on stepping
away from your desk and taking a quick walk during lunch or during your
Dr. Washburn recommends these
five tips to get more movement into your everyday routine:
Keep sneakers in your car. That way, you’ll always be prepared.
Invest in an activity monitor. A simple pedometer or a tracking device can make walking more fun. Set
a goal and then work to increase it.
Invite friends out for a walk. Instead of grabbing coffee or lunch, ask your friends to take a walk.
Whether it’s a brisk walk or a stroll, you’ll burn calories
rather than consume them.
Walk, don’t wait. If you’re waiting for your children at practice or dance lessons,
take a quick walk instead of sitting on the sideline, in your car or on
Park at a central place. When you have errands to run, park somewhere between all of your stops
and walk instead of driving to each store or building.
Walk the Talk
tips can help motivate you to put on your tennis shoes instead of turning on the television:
Make exercise a priority. Treat exercise like an appointment you can’t break. Also, if you
have an exercise buddy who is relying on you to walk, that might help
you stay committed.
Keep a diary. Track how long and how far you walk. Write down any health changes you’re
seeing, whether it’s weight loss, lowered blood pressure or increased
energy levels. You’ll see how much you’ve done and your progress
will increase your motivation!
Join an event. Sign up for a charity walkathon or a 5K run (you can walk!) – you’ll
have a goal date to prepare for.
more tips for sustained daily walking. If you’re someone who already walks but needs ideas on how to spice
up your routine, consider
Talk with your physician before starting a new exercise routine if you’ve
never exercised, if you smoke or if you have heart disease or other chronic
illnesses. Stop exercising and contact your health care provider if you
experience chest pain, dizziness, shortness of breath or fainting while