In fitness, sometimes there is so much focus on high-intensity workouts and weightlifting that the simple act of walking is overlooked. A regular walking routine can offer many benefits for your overall health, especially if you’re already lifting consistently! I’ve been walking a bit with my kid in the evenings, and they’ve found it helpful for sleep. I find walking to be helpful as an active recovery, and it helps me to feel less stiff and sore. Let’s talk about some of the benefits of a walking routine!
Cardiorespiratory Benefits of Walking
Heart Health: Walking is a fantastic cardiovascular exercise that gets your heart pumping. Regular brisk walking can help lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart disease, and improve overall cardiovascular health.
Enhanced Respiratory Function: As you walk, your breathing rate increases, improving the efficiency of your respiratory system. This increased oxygen intake can boost lung capacity and make your body more adept at utilizing oxygen during workouts.
Starting Your Walking Habit
Set Realistic Goals: Begin with achievable goals. For example, start with a 10-15 minute walk a few times a week and gradually increase the duration as your stamina improves. I often walk around the park while my kid is at soccer practice. Take advantage of something that is already part of your routine and build a new habit on that! (Side note: This strategy is called habit stacking and is also a cornerstone of our nutrition coaching program!)
Consistency is Key: It’s better to set a small goal that you can actually achieve than to set a goal like an hour of walking seven days a week that you’ll likely struggle to keep up with. Start small, set yourself up for success, and then adjust your goal if needed.
Invest in Comfortable Footwear: Good shoes are essential for a comfortable and injury-free walking experience. Invest in supportive footwear that suits your walking terrain. Save your flip-flops for the beach!
Mix it Up: Keep your walks interesting by exploring different routes, listening to music or podcasts, or walking with a friend (human or canine!). Variety can help maintain your interest and motivation. My walking buddy helps keep me motivated, even on nights where I don’t really feel like it.
Overall Health Benefits of Walking
Joint Health: Walking is a low-impact exercise that is gentle on the joints, making it suitable for people of all fitness levels.
Mental Wellbeing: Physical activity, including walking, has been linked to improved mood and reduced stress. Taking a stroll outdoors can provide a mental break, promoting mental clarity and relaxation. As I said, my kid finds walking really helpful for sleep!
Let Us Help You Get Moving
At Power Plant Gym, we focus on full health – we help people like you find movement routines that support your mental, emotional, and physical health. Click here to schedule a no-sweat intro with one of our dedicated coaches, and let’s talk about how to get you moving for full health! Our coaches are here to guide you on your journey to wellness.