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Don’t Balk – Take a Walk

How often do you find an excuse to avoid exercising? As simple as it may be to think of a reason not to go for a walk, think of some even better reasons in favor of hitting your feet to the pavement. Did you know that according to America Walks, a national coalition of local advocacy groups dedicated to promoting walkable communities, you need to walk a full football field to burn the calories from one plain M&M? Imagine how your other food choices and lifestyle practices impact the need to exercise.

America Walks reveals that each minute you walk can extend your life by 1.5 to 2 minutes on average. For those interested in walking an extra 20 minutes each day, plan to burn seven pounds of body fat per year!

The next time you start to drag your feet in favor of doing other things, consider the advantages that walking offers:

  • Applies less stress to joints than other exercises

  • Improves circulation

  • Prevents diseases

  • Increase your life longevity

  • Reduce stress

  • Promotes proper posture

  • Enhance creativity

  • Boost your self-esteem

  • Low-cost cardio workout

  • Requires few accessories

  • More quality sleep

  • Non-dependent upon location

  • Socialize with friends

The next time you try to convince yourself that a walk is not necessary, think of one of the above reasons for moving your legs. Not only does it offer health benefits, it offers socialization benefits when you desire a conversation. Feeling the fresh air of the great outdoors or monitoring your pace on the treadmill are simply two more advantages for taking a walk.

Decide if you would like to take your walk inside or outside. When the weather outside is agreeable, walk on a school track, paved sidewalk, nature trail or other area where it is easy to get your body in motion. If you prefer the indoors, consider walking at the local mall, a gym or a community center.

Once you convince yourself to get going, realize that it takes at least four weeks to establish walking into your daily routine. Try not to push too hard when you start out with your new regimen. Concentrate on slowly building your endurance and strength while working toward increasing your speed. A good goal base is to work up to 30 minutes of walking five days a week. Setting realistic goals sets the pace for success.

Determining the goals to make depends on each person’s situation. Combining walking with a balanced diet serves as a great means for weight loss. Building endurance after a surgery by taking a regular stroll is another reason why some people pick up this convenient, effective physical activity. Combating potential diseases and illnesses, working against the aging process and improving heart health are just a few other reasons to tie your shoes and start walking.

Reaching your fitness goals is easier when you are dressed appropriately. Invest in some comfortable walking attire. A good pair of shoes that fit properly with the right amount of support will take you miles up the road. Choose comfortable clothes that allow you to move freely.

Whatever your reasons for walking, it offers many benefits to improve your life. You might just find that eating two M&M’s and burning the calories is no problem at all.