Walking, we all do it, but did you know that you can walk to better health?
Here are some benefits of walking:
- Lowers bad (LDL) cholesterol and increased good (HDL) cholesterol
- Lowers sugar levels
- Strengthens bones
- Releases endorphins, dopamine, oxytocin and serotonin, which help battle depression
- Reduces stress
- Improves sleep quality
- Helps maintain weight
- Improves muscle strength
- Reduces risk of colon cancer
How much should you walk?
If possible, it would be ideal to walk 10,000 steps a day. The best way to track your steps is with a pedometer. If you can’t walk 10,000 steps, try for 30 minutes every day. If walking for 30 minutes consecutively is difficult for you, break it up into 3 intervals of 10 minutes.
To get started, make sure you talk to your doctor about starting a new exercise regimen, this is especially important for the elderly or anyone with chronic illnesses. Once you’re cleared to exercise, begin will a goal of walking 30 minutes a day for 5 days a week. You may want to start with three 10 minute walks. Once you are comfortable, you can do two 15 minute walks, then finally one 30 minute walk.
Always be mindful of your body. If something hurts, don’t do it! If you feel any pain, or shortness of breath, make sure to consult your doctor.
Make sure to start small and work your way up. Even a short walk is a walk to better health!