Discover Yourself Health & Wellness

Walk Your Way to Fitness

June 25, 2015
Walking your way to fitness

Walking your way to fitness

Most of my readers know that I love running as part of my health and fitness routine.  I’m not a natural runner, however I do like this form of exercise.  You don’t need to be an Olympian or a Marathon runner to keep fit and healthy.  Walking is a great form of exercise which has many health benefits, it doesn’t cost anything and most people can do it.  Just 30 minutes of brisk walking at least 5 times per week is all you need.

What is Brisk Walking?

You should keep a pace that will get your heart pumping but you can still carry on a conversation – although you may be a little puffed.  Even though walking doesn’t seem too strenuous an exercise you still need to get the OK from your doctor if embarking on a new exercise routine.

Just 30 minutes of brisk walking at least 5 times per week is all you need

So what are the benefits of walking?

1.  Good for your bones

As walking is a weight-bearing exercise you are literally carrying your weight with you.  This will strengthen your bones which helps prevent osteoporosis and also help with your balance and posture.

2.  Cardiovascular Fitness

Your heart and lungs will benefit from a brisk walk and your fitness level will improve.  This decreases the risk of heart disease and strokes.

3.  Management of Hypertension

Walking can reduce high blood pressure

4.  Reduces Body Fat

Brisk walking will reduce body fat and increase your muscle strength and fitness endurance.  You will be able to walk longer with less stress on your body if you have a regular walking routine.  Of course losing body fat means losing weight which decreases your risk of Type 2 Diabetes.

5.  Stress Management & Mental Health

Walking, or any form of exercise is a great way to assist with stress management and depression or anxiety.  You will sleep better and your overall emotional well-being will be improved.  You will feel envigorated and energized.

How to Start a Walking Program

This might seem pretty straight forward however if you are serious about become healthy and fit you need to ensure you follow a sensible program.  You can’t run if you haven’t walked and you can’t walk briskly if you have been a couch potato.

Here is my guide to starting a regular walking program and walking your way to a healthy and fit lifestyle.

What you will need:

1.  Wear comfortable shoes

Invest in a good pair of comfortable walking shoes with arch support.  Blisters are a sure fire way to give up after a few days so make sure you make comfort a priority.

2.  Find a Walking Buddy

It is easier to stick to a routine if you have someone doing it with you.  You are less likely to cancel on a friend.  Make a set time and stick to it.  If you don’t have a walking buddy there are community walking groups you can join and make new friends at the same time.

3.  Water Bottle

Take a water bottle with you and make sure you keep hydrated.  Don’t think that because it is winter you don’t need to drink as much water.

4.  Hat, Sunglasses & Sunscreen

Don’t forget to wear a hat and sunscreen especially in summer.

5.  Get a Pedometer

Invest in a pedometer and count the steps.  This can be a good motivator and keep you on track. 10,000 steps a day is a good goal to aim for. In the next few posts in this series we will look at a Beginners Program to start you off, plus Intermediate and Advanced Walking Programs.

Let’s Keep Sizzling!

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23 Comments

  • Reply Leanne@crestingthehill June 25, 2015 at 20:05

    Hi Sue – I’m a much better at walking than I am at running. I’m finding that walking clears my head and lets me be “in the moment” because I am away from everything. Now I have more time on my hands I plan to start walking further and maybe progress to a jog if I get really enthused 🙂

    • Reply sue June 25, 2015 at 21:37

      Well I do love running especially if I need to think. Walking is just as good and gives you an opportunity to appreciate your surroundings. Thanks for commenting and goodluck with the new job.

  • Reply Jerusha (TheDisneyChef.com) June 25, 2015 at 23:06

    I’m a huuuuge fan of walking/running your way to fitness. It helped me lose 80 pounds! Thanks for sharing… These tips were great! – Jerusha, TheDisneyChef.com

    • Reply sue June 26, 2015 at 09:04

      Well done you!!! Its a great feeling to achieve your goal and I’m so glad you enjoyed the post. You will now have to enter a fun walk/run. have a lovely weekend.

  • Reply Jebbica June 30, 2015 at 01:26

    I totally 100% agree with you, Sue! I walk 2 miles every day at lunch time and do a 0.5-0.6 parking lot walk in place of my former “smoke break”…I have been doing this every day of June, started eating healthier, and stopped drinking alcohol, and I have lost 9 lbs so far this month! I have pretty much been stuck since LAST June. But I think recommitting and doing something I actually LIKE to do, like walking, really helps!! Thanks for stopping by #FoodandFitnessFriday!

    • Reply sue June 30, 2015 at 16:31

      Well done you!!! You will certainly see the benefits of giving up smoking, starting to exercise and eat healthier. I will enjoy following your journey.

  • Reply Mary July 4, 2015 at 10:15

    5times a week? That would be a great goal for me.
    Thanks for the tops

    • Reply sue July 7, 2015 at 13:07

      If you can manage 5 times a week that is optimal but you could start at 3 if you wish. Thanks for stopping by to comment

  • Reply Charissa July 4, 2015 at 10:16

    I enjoy walking (and jogging), it’s a great chance to think and to enjoy being outside. Walking with a friend is always great too! #FridayBlogBooster

    • Reply sue July 7, 2015 at 13:08

      Yes to all of the above Charissa! I’ve done some very creative thinking on my long runs. Thanks for stopping by to comment.

  • Reply Kathleen July 5, 2015 at 19:34

    I love walking, thinking. A couple of times a week I walk a very steep hill, on the way up I try and plan blog posts to take my mind off the climb. It is amazing how easy it is if I can get into thinking zone and suddenly I am at the top of the hill.
    Wondering if you did the Gold Coast marathon today.
    Kathleen

    • Reply sue July 7, 2015 at 13:09

      Hi Kathleen thanks for the comment and I’m like you I think about my blog posts on my runs. I went in the GoldCoast Half Marathon on the weekend. 10,000 people did it and about 27,000 over the two day event

  • Reply Terri Webster Schrandt July 6, 2015 at 11:32

    Very informative post, Sue! I had to start walking a few years ago after a serious hamstring injury. I was used to running so I had to join a gym and use the treadmill to keep the surface even and add an incline. We have no hills near where I live. When we visit my brother in San Diego, I walk up and down those hills and it is a great workout!!

    • Reply sue July 7, 2015 at 13:10

      Sounds like you have it all covered Terri. Thanks for always commenting and being supportive. Have a lovely day!

  • Reply Jebbica July 13, 2015 at 01:29

    I did almost 60 miles of “intentional walking” in June and I lost 9 lbs! I’m always trying to get into some new crazy exercise or workout, but in the end, I just like walking and it has the best results for me. Thanks so much for sharing on #FoodandFitnessFriday!

    • Reply sue July 13, 2015 at 08:22

      Excellent Jebbica!!! You are doing so well and inspiring others at the same time. Its all about doing the exercise you enjoy as that way you will stick to it. Keep up the good work and thanks for the opportunity to link up at #FoodandFitnessFriday!

  • Reply Amy July 15, 2015 at 12:22

    This is a great post. I want to get in to jogging but I think this is a great way for me to transition in to that since I’ve never been a jogger. Thanks for sharing! #ConfessionsLinkUp

    • Reply sue July 15, 2015 at 13:41

      That’s right Amy you need to build up your fitness level and strength first. Walking is great exercise and I am writing three programs Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced so once you conquer those then you are ready for jogging! Thanks for the opportunity to link up.

  • Reply Fit and Fabulous - Plan and Prepare - Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond January 4, 2017 at 16:07

    […] Go for a 30 minute walk 5 times this week.  If you aren’t up to 30 minutes go for as long as you can safely walk.  Read Walk Your Way to Fitness […]

  • Reply Jodie filogomo March 6, 2017 at 07:42

    My husband and I love walking–together especially.
    But we’ve definitely gotten out of the habit lately!! Now that it’s becoming better weather here–I’m hoping we start it up again!!
    jodie
    http://www.jtouchofstyle.com

    • Reply Sue Loncaric March 6, 2017 at 11:29

      It is hard when you have very cold weather Jodie but at least Spring is on the way and you can start getting outside again!

  • Reply Jennifer Jones May 23, 2018 at 13:14

    Fantastic post Sue with very good information. Since I gave up running I’ve been able to keep up my cardio fitness with walking. Looking forward to your Intermediate and advanced posts. Shared on SM

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 23, 2018 at 16:20

      Hi Jennifer, I actually didn’t realise I had re-published that one. I’m linking to it in a guest post I’ve written for June. Glad you liked it though!

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