Walking is free and offers numerous health benefits. This form of exercise can help your mood, help your weight, and is just plain good for your body.
Besides losing calories, walking can help your digestion, your joint pain, lower blood pressure and even lower your blood sugar.
6. Walking for Mental Health
Walking is well known to help your emotional stability. Practice deep breathing while you walk. You can start out slow and increase intensity as you continue or walk up some hilly inclines or stairs to increase your strength.
5. Focus on Form
Warm up with leg and arm swings, flexing to activate your muscles. Keep a good walking posture. A gliding gait with an arm motion, elbows bent, will engage your core. Pace yourself with a rolling foot walk.
4. Interval Walking
Interval pacing is a great way to start if you have not exercised much before. Start with 1-, 2- or 3-minute intervals of slow to brisk walking; you can count or even do a less formal method: ‘Fartlek”, the Swedish word for speed play. To do this, pick a tree or a house, do a quick walk to that designated place and then continue with a slower walk to the next designated place.
3. Add Weights
Adding weights to burn more calories is very effective for losing weight if that is your goal. You can add 1- or 2-pound weights to your ankles or arms and see how it feels.
2. Use Technology for Walking Motivation
Many people like using trackers or pedometers for keeping up their pace, or for counting steps. The more advanced trackers can help with your heart rate, speed, and timing.
1. Improve Your Mood with Music
Great music with a quick tempo will boost both your mood and increase your energy. Or if you prefer, you can listen to classical music, which sharpens the brain, or calming nature sounds to bring you back from an anxious or depressed state. Music in general will help you during your walk.
Remember, you do not have to run; walking itself is a great exercise for the body and soul.