Walking is one of the simplest forms of exercise. Not only that, it is something almost anyone can do. It is typically easy, convenient, and inexpensive, and it can be a fun and enjoyable social activity.
You don’t need a treadmill. You don’t need a fitness band. You don’t need a trainer. All you really need is the desire and ability to walk, a good pair of walking shoes, and a safe place to stride.
How far should you walk? The Surgeon General recommends getting in 10,000 steps a day for good health. However, keep in mind that different circumstances in health can change the recommended amount for each person and that exercise should be something prescribed based on individual needs.
Here are a few tips for fitting extra steps into your day.
- Take the stairs when given the chance.
- Park safely and as far away from the entrance as you can.
- Use the restroom farthest away from your workspace.
- Use half of your lunch break for walking and half for eating.
- Set a reminder to walk or stretch at work.
- Do housework yourself instead of hiring someone else to do it (also saves money!).
- Work in your yard.
- Be active during your favorite TV shows by walking in place or doing calisthenics.
- Stand while talking on the phone.
- Have walking meetings at work.
- Walk while catching up with friends or co-workers.
- Consider creating a dedicated walking time and location where others can join you.
Implementing more steps in your day-to-day routine can really make a big difference in your wellness. To keep it simple, try to refrain from getting caught up in the specifics of exercise and letting all the nonsense bog you down and keep you from moving. With all of the exercise gimmicks and trends that are promoted, it can be very easy to get confused.
There are some simple guidelines to go by for walking for good health, according to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). Think of exercise in terms of the F.I.T. principle. F is for frequency. I is for Intensity. T is for Time.
- 3–5 days a week is the recommended frequency for good health.
- If you can talk and walk, then you are walking at a good intensity. However, if you can sing and walk, then you need to increase your intensity by walking faster or adding an incline.
- ACSM recommends getting 30 minutes of physical activity on most days of the week, considering you are healthy and your doctor has cleared you to participate in physical activity and exercise. You can break 30 minutes up into three 10-minute increments and still get health benefits and burn calories.
Start walking your way to better health today!