The “You” doctors, Dr. Mehmet Oz and Dr. Michael Roizen recommend a daily thirty minute walk in all of their “you” books and on the Real Age website. And, it’s no wonder. Walking thirty minutes a day helps your heart, your joints, your bones, your brain, your digestion, your weight, your blood pressure, and more. Everyday, it seems there is a new benefit discovered that supports walking thirty minutes a day.
Why Thirty Minutes?
Thirty minutes works as a base level for many fitness benefits. It is enough to get your heart rate in the aerobic zone. And, thirty minutes is something most people can do (or work up to in a pretty short time period).
Of course, if you are just starting out and are out of shape, start with where you are. If you can only walk five minutes, walk five minutes and add time from there. (See the Training Plans section on this site for more information on starting your walking program.)
If you find it difficult to schedule an uninterrupted thirty minutes, you can get similar benefits by walking several shorter walks throughout the day. Try a ten minute walk after breakfast, lunch and dinner, or a fifteen minute walk in the morning and again in the evening, or on your morning and afternoon work breaks.
Walking is the best “no-excuses” exercise. You have a pair of shoes, you walk. You do not need any special equipment, any special place (you can walk in your living room), or any special clothing (anything comfy is fine).
Walking is generally safe for most people. Of course, you should talk to your doctor, but for the most part, everyone can walk for fitness. The risk of injury is slight if you practice basic safety measures.
Walking is a great exercise. Here are some of the benefits you can get from walking thirty minutes a day:
• Increased muscle mass
• More energy
• Better aerobic conditioning for better endurance
• Improved heart health
• Better blood pressure readings
• Improved brain functioning
• Less pain from arthritis
• Better blood sugar
• Increased endorphin production
• Reduced risk of some cancers (colon and breast)
• Lessened risk of dementia
• Improved mood
• Less insomnia and better sleep quality
Walking is a fountain of youth. Many people are amazed by how much better they feel once they start a walking program. It doesn’t happen overnight, but you will likely see results pretty quickly. And, if you stick with it, several months or years from now, you will truly wonder how you ever made it without walking at least thirty minutes a day.
For more information on the true wonders of walking, I recommend You: On A Diet: The Owner's Manual for Waist Management. Read my Review of this book.
And, I also recommend the audiobook of YOU: On a Walk.