Even if you lead an inactive life, you probably still walk at least a little bit every day. Walking is so commonplace that many of us don’t even think about how beneficial it can be, so we fail to consider walking for exercise or leisure.
If you are trying to become more active, strolling about is the perfect solution — plus you’ll likely end up feeling younger and more vibrant. By increasing the number of steps you take and picking up your pace to walk a bit faster than normal, you can see dramatic benefits to your health without a gym membership or bulky at-home exercise equipment. So as the weather cools off this fall, dust off your sneakers and begin a walking regimen, which has the potential to improve your heart health, promote weight loss, and prolong the onset of degenerative joint diseases like osteoarthritis.
Why Walking Works
Walking is an ideal workout because it’s easy for almost anyone to do and it can be done just about anywhere! If you’re already beginning to experience signs of aging such as sore knees, stiff joints, and lower back pain, you’ll want a low-impact exercise to promote muscle strength without extra stress. Walking is perfect, since it’s not hard on the joints, and it can engage many muscle groups so long as you focus on walking with great posture.
How You Should Walk
Any amount of walking is better than none at all, but to get the strongest age-defying benefits, you should strive to walk at a speed of at least 3 miles per hour. Studies have shown that those who walk faster tend to live longer, especially when that speed is coupled with longer distances. As you begin walking for exercise, walk about ½ mile 5-6 days of the week. Once you feel more comfortable, increase your distance until you are walking about 2-3 miles each day, or 30-45 minutes of walking at a reasonable speed.
Even with an exercise routine as simple as walking, it is best to consult a doctor before you begin, especially as you get older. With MeMD, you won’t have to wait for a doctor’s appointment to get started on your workout routine, since our providers are available for web consultations around the clock.