Discover the Health Benefits – and the Joys – of Walking

 

As summer arrives, walking can be a great way to increase your overall health. Like other forms of exercise, walking improves our mood and makes us more productive. Furthermore, as we age, the risk of falls due to balance issues increases; walking reduces the risk by improving coordination and balance. Best of all, walking can strengthen bones and muscles and help manage chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease.

To meet the 30-minutes-per-day activity goal set by experts, increase your footsteps by parking far from your destination and walking. You also can carve out a time at work to do stairs, and if you have a company gym, get in early and do the treadmill. As well, ask if your local indoor mall permits early-bird walkers.

Then there’s this win-win: make a new friend while improving your health, by joining nextdoor.com and looking for neighbors who are seeking walking partners.

Track your progress electronically. There are easy-to-install apps for smartphones that track your steps: S Health tracks steps, time, and even the amount of water you drink per day. Map My Walk shows your route and mileage.

Fitbit sets a goal of 10,000 steps per day (doable in just over an hour, spread throughout the day.) Fitbit’s a wearable, so unlike your easily forgotten phone, steps don’t go uncounted; you get credit for each step.

Finally, by walking outside at this time of year, you can take advantage of a bonus not all forms of exercise can provide fresh air and sunlight!