We all want to be fit and healthy and live long lives, right? But most of us hate the thought of hard core workouts and “if it tastes good, spit it out” diets. So what is one way that we can get fit, stay fit, and lower our risk for many long term diseases? Doctors recommend…walking.
Yes, just get up and walk. Make it routine. It doesn’t have to be a speed walk or a jog. Just meander if you like, hike if you prefer, pace if that’s what floats your boat. Just get up and get moving. Walking is safe for all ages and enjoyable to most people. It is free to do and the only investment necessary is time. You don’t even have to walk for hours, just get out and walk for 30 minutes a day, two or three times a week and you will begin to feel better.
Walking helps lose weight, boost energy and mood, and it can be very relaxing. Studies have found that walking can lower the risk of early death, cut your risk of dementia, help mediate mental illnesses, and lower blood sugar levels. Sounds almost too good to be true right? There really is no catch. Boosting your health is as simple as getting up and walking around.
Take back control of your health one step at a time. Here are some fun ideas for places to walk around this fall:
Community Garden: Many communities have community gardens that are open to everyone in the neighborhood. You may even be able to rent a plot in the garden and try your hand at gardening.
Farmer’s Market: A great place to explore, especially in the fall, is a farmer’s market. The fresh produce, plants, and other goods to shop for, mixed with all the smells of apple cider, hot chocolate, and baked goods, makes the perfect distraction for those of us who struggle to exercise on purpose.
A lake or pond: Many local lakes and ponds have walkways or trails that lead around them. This is a great place to meet up with friends to go for a walk and chat.
Greenways or community trails: A lot of communities are creating breezeways, greenways, and trails to help encourage people to get out and walk. These trails are often surrounded by beautiful nature. They are also good places to walk with your friends or loved ones.
National parks: National parks are great places to walk because there is so much to explore. Whether you are hiking through giant Redwood trees or walking around lighthouses on the beach, the national parks have such amazing and beautiful features that all thoughts of tiredness, intentional exercise, etc. disappear and you are just overtaken with awe and wonder.
The beach: During the fall and winter most people don’t consider the beach as a place they want to be but it may be one of the best times to visit the beach. There are fewer crowds, more shells for shelling, and sometimes even better chances of seeing natural wildlife like dolphins.
Where ever you choose to get out and walk, rest easy knowing that walking is doing wonders for both your body and your mind. Enjoy yourself!