Walking is a great form of aerobic exercise that requires almost no equipment. And a bonus? It’s free! All you need is a good sturdy pair of walking shoes and some extra time, and you can reap the benefits of this simple activity. It’s something that you can do, no matter what age or stage you are in. From beginner to advanced, there are walking techniques to suit every level. But how long do you have to walk for? And how can you make this healthy exercise a habit? Read on for some tips and tricks that will help you incorporate walking into your lifestyle.
Experts agree that just ten to twenty minutes of brisk outdoor walking can really do us a world of good. The optimal time for a walk is about thirty minutes every day to get the most benefits. In addition, walking reduces stress and calms the nervous system. It can also increase helpful endorphins like dopamine and decrease harmful ones such as cortisol. Not to mention, it can be a great cardio workout. Walking also reduces the risk of diseases such as diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. Try and incorporate it into your lunch hour or go for an after-dinner stroll. No matter how you fit it in, the benefits will soon become clear to you.
Listening to your favorite music, podcast, or going for a walk with a friend are all great ways to incorporate this practice. If none of those ideas appeal to you, try mindful walking. This technique uses breathing or the five senses to make your walk come alive and will further reduce your stress levels. The outdoors are best, but if the weather or other factors are keeping you inside, hop on the treadmill for similar benefits.
You’ll soon look forward to the daily practice of walking and will notice when you miss it. So lace up those sneakers and give it a try. Your body and your soul will thank you.