Sometimes, people have a tendency to complicate exercise. Consider this: in January, on the 1st or slightly after, gyms everywhere—and all types—are overloaded with membership applications. A once-empty cardio room is now jam packed with folks living up to their resolutions. And while this does work for some (resolutions can be a spectacular way for people to make lifestyle changes, provided they continue to stick to their plan and make exercise and gym time a part of their life), oftentimes time spent at the gym conflicts with people’s lives, and they discontinue going. But exercise doesn’t have to be performed in a gym. You can step outside right now, walk for a half an hour and you can burn a few calories, increase blood flow to the muscles in the body, etc. You could even plan to walk at your next lunchbreak—you don’t have to make it complicated, use the time you have available to you and participate.
Walking has benefits that go beyond exercise, although the physical health benefits to an hour of walking are numerous—in addition to fitness, walking has been proven to help manage systemic conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes (assuming the patient is healthy enough to participate). But walking can also help to decrease stress and anxiety. It can elevate your mood and allow you some free time to clear your mind.
If you intend to make walking a part of your daily routine you’ll want to find a shoe to wear that’s comfortable. Comfort is especially important because you’ll be likelier to continue to walk on a regular basis. And when you start to walk you may want to walk slowly and for short distances. You may want to gradually build up the mileage and increase the pace as you feel more comfortable and healthy enough to do it.
Take time in your life for yourself. Remember the importance of exercise, and that even the most simplistic exercise, walking, can do wonders for the health of your mind and body.