Ready, set … Walk! Staying active is a great way to maintain good health both physically and mentally. As you probably already know, there are several ways to stay active. However, the American Heart Association found that walking has the lowest dropout rate of them all and is the simplest, positive change you can make to improve your health. If you aren’t a fan of running or exercising, just walk instead. Walk your way to a healthier heart and brain to:
- Improve your cholesterol
- Boost your mental well-being
- Improve your blood pressure and blood sugar
- Increase your energy
- Prevent weight gain
- Reduce your risk of stroke
In addition to helping your heart, walking has also been proven to help your brain. You or someone you know has likely experienced “brain fog” that comes with age. No need to worry though, walking has been proven to protect and strengthen the memory and thinking skills within the brain. Although walking won’t completely prevent memory loss, it will definitely help the rate at which memory loss happens.
Aside from memory loss, walking can also help the brain with depression, anxiety and stress. Since walking requires little to no attention or focus, it allows you to relax and clear your mind. Once you have a clear state of mind, naturally you will experience an increase in creativity. Not to mention, many of us are likely confined to small spaces for most of the day. Whether that be our workplace, home, restaurant or store it is good to get out of those congested spaces, get our legs moving and breathe a little.
If you think you don’t have time to fit walking into your daily routine, here are six quick and easy ways to incorporate more walking into your day:
- Invite a friend or spouse to take a walk with you
Instead of catching up on your favorite TV show, try going on a walk and catching up with a friend instead.
- Invest in a wearable step device
10,000 steps is the average amount of steps you should try to take every day. With a device that not only counts your steps but reminds you to get up and move throughout the day, you are more likely to reach your goal.
- Park farther than you normally do
If your goal is to walk more, parking farther away will allow for more steps and help you reach your daily goal.
- Walk to lunch
If you live within walking distance of your favorite restaurant, try walking instead of driving. It may take a little bit longer than driving would, but the fresh air and savings on gas will be worth it.
- Take your dog for a walk
If you don’t have anyone to walk with, take your dog instead. Not only will it benefit you, it will be good for your dog to get out and move, too.
- Take the stairs
Although taking an elevator may seem faster and more convenient, using the stairs is often quicker and healthier for you.