Energy Express: Walking the Path or A Step-By-Step Guide to Transformation
Everything about walking is good for your well-being -- unless you're doing it with a bag of Oreos. It builds strength, reduces your risk of heart disease, juices up your joints, calms your mind and helps you and your cocker spaniel live longer, happier lives.
Some scoff at walking, dismissing it as exercise lite, not cool, maybe even a waste of your recreational time. These people should be taken with a gram of pink Himalayan salt.
Walking works wonders. Even a little bit of walking goes a long way toward shifting you from a sedentary lifestyle to a more active one, with more energy and looser jeans. It's that shift from sedentary to active that leapfrogs you down the path to a healthier lifestyle.
Not long ago, two scientists sifted through 4,295 published articles on walking written between 1970 and 2007. Their conclusion: Yes, even a modest walking program offers significant protection against many medical problems associated with old age.
Death, for instance.
How modest is modest? Walking has protective benefits even if you just manage to walk 5.5 miles over the course of a week, going as slowly as 2 miles an hour.
So what if you're passed by small children or people carrying groceries? Walking is not a competitive sport. Be happy to know you're starting where you are and improving your health, step by step.
When your confidence grows, and your body adjusts, you will want to pick up the pace. When that day comes, celebrate. It means you and your body are more in tune, and exercise goes from mild punishment to pleasure.
Go with that flow. Walk longer distances. Walk at a faster pace. Experiment with sprinting for 30 seconds, backing off to a comfortable pace for 90 seconds and then sprinting again. This kind of interval training will make your walking program even more wondrous.
To overcome your natural lethargy, try this: Dress for the weather and tell yourself that if you don't like it, you'll stop after 5 minutes. Step outdoors. Begin to notice your breath. Start walking.