Thanks to all the various health monitors available, its become trendy to count your steps on a daily basis. While some would say this is trendy, its actually a great way to challenge ones self by setting goals and increasing ones activity level.
Some of the many benefits of a regimen of walking are:
Getting outside, or to the gym is great for ones mental health. Being in the fresh air and interacting with other people can lessen depression and anxiety.
Walking helps one to manage their weight. By lowering the BMI one reduces the risk of a myriad of diseases.
Walking reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Tips for a successful walking routine:
Take care of your feet, and they will take care of you. Choose good footwear with a stiff heel counter and proper support. Needless to say, this can be augmented with a pair of custom orthotics for support tailored to your own feet.
There are three variables to push your limits while walking. Speed, distance and elevation. By varying the pace, mileage and vertical gains you can stress yourself which is the way to make gains in your endurance. Try to change one of these variables each time you go for a walk and it will force your body to adapt to the various stresses, and keep your excursions interesting.
Pay attention to the weather. Walking in high heat or humidity is more taxing than in a temperate situation. Don’t decide not to keep your routine in warmer weather, just be prepared by staying hydrated, wearing a hat and using sunscreen.
One can use walking as a way to reconnect with friends and family. I have a weekly hike group that keeps me feeling connected with my circle and adds to my enjoyment in being outdoors by sharing that experience with people I care about. This keeps me motivated both for myself, and the people I hike with.
I hope this gives you some food for thought and perhaps a little motivation to add walking to your self help health care routine.