One of the most common questions I get when it comes to improving fitness is “What would be good for me to start out with?” Because most of the individuals that ask me haven’t been active in a very long time or are fairly overweight my answer normally is “A walking program”.
Why I Recommend a Walking Program.
1. It is easy to do anywhere.
Long gone are the excuses of you couldn’t workout because the gym hours don’t fit your needs or that you were traveling for business or on vacation.
2. Low cost because there is no special equipment is needed.
Other than a good pair of shoes (which you likely already own) you don’t need to purchase anything to get started and get moving.
3. Risk of injury is very low.
Out of all of the different modes (running, cycling, swimming, etc) walking has the lowest injury rates. Less injuries means less workout time lost due to them.
4. Has a slew of health benefits
- Lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (the "bad" cholesterol)
- Raise high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (the "good" cholesterol)
- Lower your blood pressure
- Reduce your risk of or manage type 2 diabetes
- Manage your weight
- Helps maintain and build bone mass
- Improve your mood
- Stay strong and fit
5. You can do it with a partner
For those who are social being able to engage in activities with a partner, a group, or even your dog can provide a great source of motivation.
My Personal Experience with Walking
Another reason I recommend it is because I had great success with a walking program at the start of my journey. I started out with only about 20 mins, 3 days a week and worked up to an hour, 5 days a week before I switched over to cycling. During the months I was using walking as my main mode of cardiovascular exercise, I lost the first 70lbs of the 100lbs I ultimately have lost. I also improved my blood work drastically and felt amazing. I still use walking to cross train with and make it my main form of exercise with I travel. I’m even known to throw some running into a walk if I’m looking to up the intensity for the session. My favorite activity to do with my partner is to take an after-dinner walk. Not only are we being active together, but it provides a great opportunity for us to just talk about our day without the interruptions that can happen when we are just sitting around the house.
Resources to Get Started
Questions for You
- Have you had any success with a walking program as part of your exercise routine?
- If you do walk, do you have any tips to share with someone starting out?
- If you don’t walk, what are you doing to be active?
Quote of the Day: “Walking is man's best medicine.” ~ Hippocrates