Guest Author - Carla Cano
Health is a growing concern in our world. It impacts each and every one of us. Health care costs are up and many of us are feeling more tired and irritable. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has found as of 2010 that 1/3 of adults and 17% of our youth are obese. Those statistics are not dropping but going up. It is alarming that 40% of adults in the U.S. report that they get no physical activity during their free time. Walking is a solution for so many. Walking feels great and is easy to do.
The benefits of walking are so numerous that it would be impossible to list them all. Walking can be started with no money down if you have a pair of shoes, once you know this is for you then go out and get a good fitting walking sneaker. Walking can be done by any fitness level, starting out slow and steady does win this race. Walking strengthens your body from the inside out, making you leaner and stronger. Best of all and the most important reason to make walking apart of your life is that it helps build a healthy heart. Walking will benefit so many aspects of your life that soon you will be telling your friends about your benefits from walking.
Beginners can start with what they have on hand. Go out the door and go for a walk, not a marathon but enjoy a nice stroll at least three times a week. Start where you can, if you can only walk for 10 minutes, walk away from your starting point for five minutes and then turn around and head back, before you know it you will be walking 30 minutes three times a week. It is a great way to strengthen your body and mind, as well as getting to know what is going on in your community while you are taking a walk.
Intermediates will want to increase their speeds and time. Many walkers even add low weights to their walks. I suggest finding a challenging route as well, one with inclines that will increase your heart rate and challenge you to push yourself further each time. Perhaps it would be a great time to find a walking group so that you have that encouragement to push just a big harder every day.
The advance walker may want to join a walking marathon to challenge themselves. This is a great way to stay in shape as well as competing with yourself and striving to do your best each day. Always try to beat your personal best to keep yourself moving forward. This is the perfect time to reach out and see if there are others that want to get started and give back to your walking community.
Walking can be fun and exhilarating. It is a great feeling to surpass your goals and to keep striding forward. Walking is inexpensive and can be done just about anywhere. The most important thing is to start where you are and the rest will fall into place. With diabetes, heart disease and many cancers on the rise, remember that being active is something you can do for your quality of life. It is something that will help you physically, spiritually and mentally. You deserve to take care of yourself so lace up those sneakers and let's go for a walk!