Guest Author - Carla Cano
Walking is essential to your health. It aids in strengthening your body and mind. Walking can be enjoyed both as a solitary pursuit and a group activity. Many walkers like the camaraderie of walking with others. Walking groups can help walkers find others that have similar goals. Walking in groups give people from different walks of life common ground to build lasting friendships and accountability in reaching fitness goals.
Benefits of Walking Groups
The benefits of walking are enormous and widely recognized. Walking with others increases those benefits for many reasons. Others help keep us motivated and accountable. Often a friend or family member can spur us on when we do not feel like sticking with the plan. Telling your walking partner you don't feel like it is harder than telling yourself. Coming up with excuse that others find plausible is a much tougher sell than telling yourself you are too busy, or too tired. Walking groups are a great way to get and stay motivated.
Finding a Walking Group
There are many ways to find a walking group. Many communities add links to their website. The local health department also may have links to local walking groups. Meetup.com has links to walking groups, just look it up for your specific city. The American Heart Association has information on walking groups as well as other wonderful information about the benefits of walking for your heart health. There are so many walking groups that you may find you are overwhelmed with the options presented. Not every walking group will be the right group for you.
Choosing the Right Walking Group
Overwhelming options can seem a bit daunting, especially if you are starting this journey on your own. There are a few things to look for when choosing a quality walking group. First, be sure that there are many fitness levels. It will help you keep your eye on the ball and move up levels, friendly competition can be very rewarding. Second, choose a group that walks during the time of day that you have allotted for your walking. It is possible to even choose a group with several walking times throughout the week. Third, choose a group where you can be yourself, where you will be walking with others that have similar fitness goals as yourself. If you are walking for weight loss look for a similar goal in your walking group, the same goes if you are walking for general fitness. If you are interested in interval walking then find a group that does interval walking. When you have found the right group you will look forward to the days you meet with them for your walks.
Finding a group should not be hard, however there are some areas that may not have a local walking group. If you live in an area like that it may be a great time to start your own walking group. Walking is a fun, beneficial way to get healthy. Whether you choose to do it alone or in a group, the important thing is to start. Walking can and will give you a new outlook on life.