Guest Author - Deborah Crawford
Of course there are many things one can do for fitness. From playing sports to pilates, weight-lifting to tai chi and many more, there are almost endless options for being active and staying fit. So, why is walking the most talked about, the most practiced and the most recommended by doctors?
1—It’s easy. Walking is easy to do. You don’t need special training, and there are no complicated rules to learn. You basically just walk. Your natural walking form is probably just fine, but good posture never hurt anyone.
2—And, safe. Walking is least likely to cause injury. Of course, you can get hurt just by walking, particularly if you fall, but compared to many sports and exercise programs, walking is safe for all ages and fitness levels. Naturally, that does not mean beginners should walk out and go for a couple of hours. If you are beginning, try this Training Plan.
3—Plus, versatile. Walking is adaptable. You can walk for five minutes if you are just starting out or walk a 26.2 marathon if you’re a champ. You can Walk Inside in front of your television, or on the sidewalk in your neighborhood, or on a mountain trail.
4—It’s good for your body. Walking is a great overall exercise. Fitness programs should have three factors: endurance for cardiovascular fitness, strength training to build muscle and flexibility to maintain range of motion. Walking covers all those areas even though it is primarily used for endurance. Adding some stretches after you walk is a great idea, and many walkers do some additional strength training, too.
5—And, it’s inexpensive. Walking requires almost no start-up costs. You do not need special clothing or equipment, although there is plenty available if you chose. But, you can walk in any comfortable clothing and some people can walk in ordinary comfortable shoes (although I do recommend being fitted for and investing in good walking shoes).
6—Plus, it combats disease. Walking helps many health conditions, particularly those epidemic in our current sedentary times, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke and obesity. Ask your doctor if walking would be good for you.
7—And, it keeps you young! Walking helps with many age-related diseases, too. You can lessen your chances of getting osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, hip fractures and some cancers. Regular exercise also helps in keeping you mentally alert and able.
So, there you go. Seven great reasons why walking is number one in fitness programs. Walking is easy, safe, versatile, good for your muscles and bones and joints, inexpensive, and it keeps you healthy and young. Take a walk today!