START WALKING AND FEEL GREAT

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A lot of us want to be healthier but find the gym intimidating and are not ready to start running marathons or taking part in cycle races.  Walking is a wonderful way to improve your health and has the added benefits of little or no start up costs and getting outdoors and perhaps walking with friends and family.

The one big item you need is obviously comfortable footwear.  If you are walking on roads, rather than tracks, it would be sensible to wear a reflective safety vest which makes you highly visible to passing traffic.  If you want to really splash out, then you could buy a pedometer which will tell you exactly how many steps you have taken and will let you know if you are having a lazy week! Wear comfortable, breathable clothing and don’t forget to take lots of water with you.

Walking, like all physical activities, has many rewards.  It helps lift depression and anxiety and it ultimately gives you more energy.  Going for a brisk walk will ensure a much better night’s sleep.  Your immune system will be stronger and your risk for chronic diseases will be less. Another plus point is that you will lose a few pounds and tone up in the process.   Your blood glucose levels will be healthier and you will increase the good cholesterol (HDL) in your body.

There are lots of walking groups out there which you can join or you can start your own group.  Or perhaps you would rather walk on your own and have a little ‘me’ time.  Whichever you choose, start slowly.  Perhaps just 30 minutes of walking every other day to begin with.  If you can’t do this in one go, then split it up into 3 ten minute sessions.  This can be done at a comfortable pace and you will find that you will naturally walk quicker as you get fitter.  Build up to a brisk pace which means you will still have enough breath to talk, but singing will be out of the question.  Remember that it is recommended that your take at least 10,000 steps a day in order to improve your health and maintain it.

After you have felt the benefits of regular walking, you won’t want to stop.  You will feel and look great and have much more energy.  So, put on your walking shoes and safety vest, grab your bottle of water and just do it!