Walk this way!

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Walk this way, walk this way Aerosmith 1975

That used to be one of my favorite songs.  Didn’t really remember the lyrics though until I looked them up for this article.  Needless to say, the one sentence above will be all that I write today but I still love this song and classic rock.

One thing I can say about walking is that it is probably one of the best forms of exercise we can do for our bodies.  After all, we learn quite young how to walk – usually within the first year of our lives. It is something our bodies are designed to do.

Yes there are other forms of exercise but when it comes time to decide what exercise is best for the majority of folks, walking is number one.   Walking is something we do automatically and is actually great for cardiovascular (heart) health and overall physical fitness.

Unfortunately, many of us spend the majority of our days sitting or inactive which may make it difficult when we begin to exercise.  The good news though is even if you have not been active, you can pretty much put on a pair of sneakers and safely venture out your door for a 10 to 15 minute walk.  This makes walking great for people who want to begin adding exercise into their day. (These are the sneakers I wear because of the support they provide for my knees and hips: Brooks Ghost Women)

Where to start?

You start right where you are. Talk to your doctor to make sure walking is something that you can safely do.  Don’t worry about having to walk a set amount of time or distance. When you start any type of activity, you need to listen to your body. If you are able to walk 10 minutes then feel tired or sore, then that is the length of time you should walk when you first begin.  As your body becomes stronger – both aerobically and physically – add a few minutes onto your walking time.  As you get physically stronger, you may decide it is time to walk a set distance such as two or three miles.  Reach your goal by adding 1/4 mile at a time.

Challenge yourself.

Keep in mind that our bodies are absolutely amazing and designed perfectly for us.  Our bodies will quickly adapt to what we consistently ask it to do.  Continue to challenge yourself so that your body gets stronger.  What do I mean by challenge yourself? There are many ways to challenge ourselves.  Try walking faster, signing up to walk a local charity event such as a 5K or taking a hike.

My mother and I did just that by spending the day hiking at Paynes Prairie in Miccanopy, Florida.  It was a gorgeous day and not only did we climb the stairs to the observation tower, we took a hike that added three miles to our daily walk.  We were not really paying attention to the distance because we were chatting and watching the wildlife along the pathway.  Bison, wild horses with foals, cranes and huge alligators were among the many animals we enjoyed watching along with spending time with each other.

The moral of the story? You don’t need any special equipment to start walking except a pair of supportive sneakers.  Get up and get moving.  Then try to move just a little bit more tomorrow than you did today for a healthier, stronger you.

To your health,