Do you have a treadmill in the spare room being used for a coat rack? If you had the best of intentions of getting in shape but lost interest you need to discover the 9 motivational benefits for tapping into the magic of walking.
The precise reason for abandoning your treadmill doesn’t really matter. If you decide to stop exercising any excuse will do.
But this is the time of life when it is more important than ever to exercise. You’ve become more sedentary. Your belt is running out of holes to accommodate your growing waist. It’s time to become proactive about your lack of exercise.
One of the REFIRE principles is ENERGIZED. If we are going to make this part of the journey the best it will take energy. Lots of energy. And one of the best ways to increase energy is to start on a cardio program.
If this strikes terror in your heart I have good news. One of the best forms of cardio-exercise is walking. Walking briskly on a regular basis, for as little as 20 minutes each day, has many benefits.
Check out this list of 9 benefits to motivate you to engage in the magic of walking.
1. Walking boosts energy. After a week of walking I began to notice this benefit. It wasn’t like the energy from a 4 shot latte but I could notice a little more zip in my step.
2. Walking improves your cardiovascular system. You don’t need to have a medical degree for this to make sense. While walking your heart pumps faster; delivering more blood through your system. Keep walking and your heart muscle gets stronger.
3. Walking gives you time to think. Unless you find a walking partner, the time alone can be opportunity to think. I’ve had great ideas pop into my head while walking. Hitting the pavement stimulates the brain and significant ideas are born.
4. Walking tones the body. When you use muscles they respond by toning up. Saggy muscles located below the belt respond to this kind of exercise. It’s a great benefit to have your legs and butt firm up.
5. Walking boosts your self-image. When I started walking my self-image improved. It felt great knowing I was doing something beneficial for myself. If you want to feel better about yourself go for a walk.
6. Walking can help you lose weight. When I walk on a regular basis I lose weight. If I stop walking I gain weight. Burning calories is only part of the reason. The other part is that when I walk I pay more attention to what I eat.
7. Walking gives you time to pray, listen to audio books, or podcasts. If you struggle to find time to do any of these things walking serves double duty. It is an opportunity to get fit and work on your self improvement goals at the same time.
8. Walking helps you sleep better. It’s true. I’m unable to explain it but I can vouch for better sleeping since walking on a regular basis. Whatever the reason, whether physical or psychological, I’m glad for this benefit!
9. Walking can reduce high blood pressure. I’m not one who suffers from this problem. But I’ve done enough reading to know that walking can help reduce your blood pressure. This simple benefit all by itself ought to motivate those who struggle with high blood pressure to get out and hit the pavement.
Here’s two suggestions to get you started.
First, buy a decent pair of shoes. No need to spend a ton of money but your shoes ought to give your foot support. Later on you might want to invest in a step counter but good shoes are your only expense in getting started.
Second, start at your comfort level and work up to longer and faster times. If you can only walk for five minutes before collapsing then do that. Gradually increase until you are walking 30 minutes a day at least four times a week.
Disclaimer: I’m not a medical doctor. Please consult your physician before beginning any exercise program. These benefits are based on my own experience. Your may experience even greater benefits.