The sun is shining, birds are chirping and flowers are in bloom; spring is officially here. Are you anxious to get outside and take advantage the warmer weather? A walk around your neighborhood or a local park is a perfect way to enjoy the great outdoors, and it will help you to stay healthy.
Walking is an easy and fun way to lose or maintain a healthy weight and stay in shape. It is less strenuous and easier on the joints than other types of exercise, but provides many of the same benefits.
The American Heart Association (www.startwalkingnow.org) found that walking helps to improve blood pressure and blood sugar levels, and reduces the risk of stroke, coronary heart disease, osteoporosis, breast and colon cancer, and diabetes. In fact, the AARP (www.aarp.org) found that walking for at least 150 minutes a week can reduce your risk of diabetes by nearly 60 percent.
In addition to preventing many diseases, regular walking will help you to look and feel better. Thewalkingsite.com reports that walking strengthens back muscles, slims the waist, shapes your legs, reduces stress, and helps you sleep better. Plus walking one mile burns about 100 calories!
One of the great things about walking is that you don’t have to walk for long periods of time to see results. Use a pedometer, which measures the number of steps that you take, and take short walks throughout the day. A good goal to set is 10,000 steps a day. On average, 10,000 steps is about five miles, which is 500 calories!
Before you start walking regularly, it is important to have a good pair of sneakers. They should be lightweight and breathable with a supportive heel. Try on both shoes in the store and make sure that your toes can move freely, and wear them around the house before walking outside in case you need to return them.
Walking is a great activity to do with friends, family and co-workers. Catch up, enjoy the spring weather, and get fit all at the same time! Setting “walking dates” with a friend will also keep you motivated and on track.
So take a break, grab a friend, lace up your walking shoes and walk your way to better health! For more information about how Liberty at Home can help you establish a walking program contact Dana O’Donnell at 215-643-6335 ext. 147.
Where are some of your favorite places to go for a walk?