Staying healthy- a walk in the park
"Google the easiest exercise there is and you'll get"
I literally typed the words “EASIEST EXERCISE” on my search engine to find my options and here’s what I found – walking!
Why walk?There’s actually a list of benefits that you can enjoy if you incorporate a few minutes of walking in your weekly routine. Here are the best ones:
1. It keeps you away from type 2 diabetes – according to the Diabetes Prevention Program,clocking in 150 minutes of walking each week (that’s just 30 minutes everyday that you go to school or work) and lowering your weight by just 7% can already reduce your risk of getting type 2 diabetes by 58%!
2. It strengthens your heart – according to a study on retired men, mortality rates were nearly twice among those who walked less than a mile each day compared to those who walked over two miles daily.
3. It reduces the risk of cancer – one study showed that incorporating 1 hour and 15 minutes to 2 and a half hours of brisk walking per week can lower a woman’s risk of getting breast cancer by 18% compared to inactive women.
4. It improves brain function – remember how taking a long walk can clear your head when you have a problem? A study on cognitive function and walking revealed that women who walked at least 1.5 hours a week at an easy pace had significantly less cognitive decline and better cognitive function than those who walked less than 40 minutes a week.
5. It keeps bones strong – walking approximately a mile everyday can help prevent bone density loss and osteoporosis, according to a research conducted on postmenopausal women. Walking also helps improve your balance as you age.
6. It alleviates symptoms of depression – feeling sad? Walk it off! Research showed that walking for 30 minutes each day, 3 to 5 times weekly for 3 straight months can reduce symptoms of depression by a whopping 47%!
7. It can help you lose weight – for some people, this alone is the most compelling reason to walk. A 150-pound man can burn about a hundred calories per mile of walking – that’s virtually the same number of calories you burn if you run the same distance!
The best part about starting a walking routine is that you don’t need special gear, equipment or gym membership to start. You just need to check a few things to be able to do this regularly. If you want to start with a more rigorous pace, you can try “brisk” walking.
Now, let’s consider the venue – do you have a sidewalk or at least a less busy street in your village where you can freely roam around without getting hit by a car or being rampaged by rabid dogs? Safety always comes first so it is important to you find yourself a proper walking path.Wearing comfortable shoes or even slippers is okay if you’re just going to walk for a few minutes, but if you plan to brisk walk seriously everyday, you’re encouraged to invest in proper walking shoes.
And that’s it! You’re all set.
Like me, a lot of people who are employed in an office are challenged with incorporating physical activities in their day. So how can people like me incorporate walking into their day jobs? Here are some suggestions from the articles I read:
1. If your school or workplace is just a few blocks away from where you live, walk to and from your destination – My office is just 20 minutes away from my home so perhaps I can ditch the car on some days when I don’t have too much stuff to carry with me.
2. If you need to bus or jeep to your destination, why not get off a little farther than where you’re supposed to go down so you have a few minutes of walking.
3. Walk for errands – used to emailing instructions to your colleague from the other department? Get up and go there to tell him yourself!
4. Walk out for lunch – I’m also guilty of always having no time to go out even for a decent meal. I either have lunch delivered or I request a colleague to include my meal when he goes for take out, but rarely do I take time to go out and buy my own food.
I don’t even need to buy myself anything to get started…just a constant reminder that I have to choose to get up and STOP BEING LAZY!