There are so many reasons strolling is ideal for you, it’s simply not possible to speak approximately all of them in a single quick document. so, think about this as a mini primer. earlier than we get into the “why” of factors, right here are some fun and thrilling records approximately walking:

* every step you are taking uses as much as 2 hundred muscular tissues.
* the common individual walks the equal distance of five equators in his or her lifetime.
* trust it or not, it’s better to swing your palms whilst you walk. why? while you don’t, it will increase the effort of on foot as much as 12 percent.
* underneath certain instances, when you stroll, the stress you put on your toes exceeds your total body weight. in case you run, this pressure may be up to three or 4 times your weight.
* want to burn extra calories? try strolling sideways. it virtually receives rid of seventy eight percentage more of the little culprits.
* strolling uphill increases cardiovascular health and muscle tone.
* it takes about one hour forty three minutes to walk off 540 energy, which takes place to be the caloric count number of a big mac. if your meal included a high-quality-length coke and french fries, you want to stroll seven hours to burn the energy.

* if you’re seeking to improve your fitness, specialists advocate taking walks 6,000 steps per day. in case you’re trying to shed pounds, stroll a complete of 10,000 steps to get the activity performed.
* a few humans get exercise thru on foot, even if they don’t want to. sleepwalking, additionally referred to as somnambulism, influences about 18 percent of the arena’s populace.
* the time period “walk” comes from the old english word “wealcan,” because of this “to roll.”
* it’s extraordinarily important to be constantly aware about your environment while you walk. statistics suggest someone is 36 more instances probable to be killed strolling than driving a automobile and three hundred times more likely to be killed taking walks than journeying thru plane.

Now it’s time to cover a number of the many reasons strolling is good for you and an fantastic manner to preserve fit. one of the best matters approximately strolling is the fact which you gain from it, regardless of how a whole lot or how little you walk. of path, the extra you walk the higher. however, each little bit enables.

The advantages of taking walks!
heart health:
Studies show that on foot frequently lowers your threat of each coronary heart disorder and stroke. walking gets your coronary heart rate up and reasons your body to burn energy. this, in turn, lowers your ldl cholesterol level.

Consistent with the stroke association, taking walks for half of an hour each day helps to maintain your blood stress in take a look at and decreases your danger of stroke by means of up to 27 percent. walking offers your flow a lift and helps to growth the tiers of oxygen for your blood. this truly leads to feeling extra active after a quick (brisk) walk.

Taking walks isn’t always going to build muscle as efficiently as different greater strenuous sports. however, a strolling recurring does help you burn fats and construct some muscle, especially within the legs. on foot offers your calves and your thighs quite a workout. it additionally allows your glutes.

As compared to more excessive-effect exercises along with walking, taking walks is also very mild on human beings with arthritis. it’s pretty smooth to pick a course, head outside and deliver your muscle groups the exercising they need.

Weight reduction and other blessings:
In line with mayo medical institution, walking isn’t the excellent way to shed pounds. however it simply helps. to lose one pound consistent with week, consider getting rid of more or less 500 calories out of your weight loss program every day.

Walking is really of greater importance when you shed pounds. studies suggest the those who are maximum a success maintaining weight off are people who take part in frequent physical activities. one of the most crucial matters to don’t forget is balance. overdoing any shape of exercise is risky. start sluggish and steadily increase to a longer regimen.

After half-hour of walking at approximately 2 mph, you’ll have burned round 75 energy. if you manage to get your speed up to around 3 mph, the wide variety goes up to approximately one hundred calories. even as a unmarried hour of walking won’t burn an excellent amount of calories (round as plenty as, say, a tumbler of chocolate milk could give you), these numbers upload up while you paintings walking into your habitual.

In keeping with a few studies, strolling regularly benefits your immune system. exercise which includes taking walks causes our frame to produce accelerated stages of numerous kinds of important immune cells. exposure to the solar also boosts our ranges of nutrition d, which improves the overall performance of our immune structures as well as bone fitness.

Brain Booster:
While you may not think it’s true, walking is also good for your brain. Walking has been shown to have multiple cognitive benefits, including improved cognitive control, improved academic performance and a boost of creativity in young people. This boost in creativity is especially prominent when young people walk outdoors, as exposure to a natural setting is thought to stimulate creativity.

Seniors who walk regularly are also shown to have improved memory function. The farther an elderly person can walk in a six-minute span of time, the better they tend to perform on memory and logic tests. Studies also show that elderly people who walk over six miles a week are less likely to experience brain shrinkage and dementia as the years go by.

Not only is walking good for your brain, it’s also good for your mood. Studies show that even moderate exercise such as a brisk walk causes our body to release endorphins – the neurotransmitter found in our brains that causes us to feel happiness and euphoria.

Walking regularly can stave off the negative effects of anxiety or stress. Establishing and sticking to a walking routine also gives you a sense of setting and completing goals, which can raise your self-esteem and leave you feeling more confident in yourself. What better reason to walk in a relaxing or a natural environment?

Another reason walking is great for your mood is it gives you time to think. Walking doesn’t take that much effort, so while we do it, we can ponder other areas in our lives. This gives you a chance to work through your problems in a relatively quiet and safe environment.

After starting a walking routine, you may find that you have your best ideas while walking around your neighborhood or down a trail through the forest. For some, walking is even similar to medication. The simple repetitive activity allows you to get out your anxiety while allowing your mind to tune out.

Walking While Pregnant:
More and more moms-to-be are realizing and taking advantage of the benefits of walking while pregnant. If you’re expecting and have yet to take up walking, now is the perfect time to do so. Here are a few reasons why:

* Walking lowers the risk of pre-eclampsia. Since it helps to reduce your cholesterol, in a somewhat roundabout way, and helps maintain your weight, your chances of dealing with high blood pressure are much lower.

* It lowers the risk of gestational diabetes. Again, because walking helps you maintain your weight when pregnant, you have much less chance of getting this temporary form of diabetes.

* Your chances of having a healthy baby are higher. When you stay at the optimum pregnancy weight, it typically means your baby is also maintaining a healthy weight. If you’re worried about delivering a heavy baby, you might consider walking to reduce the chances of weight being a delivery-related issue.

* Because walking strengthens your muscles and increases your flexibility, women who walk during pregnancy typically have an easier time with childbirth. This can mean less pain in a much faster delivery time.

Almost everyone knows that pregnancy causes at least some level of stress. For some women, this level is much higher than others. In addition, hormones cause moods to go from extreme happiness one minute to downright depression the next.

As mentioned above, when you walk your body releases endorphins. Endorphins are magical in a sense, because they make you feel good. So, even if your schedule only allows infrequent walks when pregnant, take advantage of each and every one of them.

Taking the steps instead of the elevator, grocery shopping, trying to walk just a little more at work or getting off the bus one stop early are all ways to add extra walking to your daily routine.

There are a couple of special safety precautions to keep in mind as a pregnant walker. Don’t let your body get too overheated. Doing so can sometimes lead to premature labor. If it’s warm outside, consider walking in the mall. In addition, because of your large belly, your center of gravity has shifted. Because of this, you always want to walk with extra caution.

When you’re pregnant, you probably don’t want to go into “power walker mode,” unless walking was part of your daily routine before you got pregnant. Never walk too fast. It’s best to walk at a comfortable pace. Try to remember to take a few sips of water every five minutes or so. You don’t want to get dehydrated. It’s bad for you and the baby!

Getting the Right Shoes:
When it comes to walking shoes, no single pair is going to be a good fit for everybody. The most important thing to keep in mind is comfort. Make sure that walking right in your shoes feels comfortable and that the shoes fit properly. Try to leave about 1/2 inch between the tip of your toes and the end of the shoe. Here a few more things to keep in mind as you select your hiking footwear:

* Try to find a shoe that is both lightweight and breathable. Thicker, heavier shoes will be less comfortable both to walk in and to wear for extended periods of time.

* Having a supportive heel is much better than a thick one. A shoe with a thicker heel causes your foot to slap down all at once rather than roll naturally.

* Make sure that you find a shoe with a sole that bends easily at the ball of the foot. Your foot needs to be able to lead with your heel, then roll to the ball of your foot. A thick sole will always get in the way of this.

* Go shopping for your new shoes in the evening. Why?  After walking around all day, your feet may be a little swollen. You want to be sure your shoes fit comfortably after being on your feet all day, and this is the best way to do it. Also, make sure you aren’t in a rush when deciding on walking shoes. You really need to take the time to walk around the store, to get an initial feel for the fit.

* After you pick out your new shoes, wear them around the house for a few days to break them in. The last thing you want to do is limp home the first time you “officially” go walking in them. This way, if anything about the shoes doesn’t agree with you, you’ll be able to take them back before they get all scuffed up outside.

* If you can, keep track of the number of miles that you walk while wearing your shoes. As a general guideline, it may be best to replace them every 250 to 500 miles. Of course, if they become damaged or worn out before then, be sure to replace them rather than wear them while damaged.

Other Equipment:
Clothing:
When it comes to walking outdoors, the best clothes to wear varies greatly depending on the location and climate. It’s generally best to avoid darker colors, because they absorb the heat of sunlight. If you’ll be walking near a road or street, consider wearing a reflective vest or patches to ensure that drivers of passing cars will see you when it gets dark.

While cotton is a very common material, it may not be the best choice for hiking clothes. When cotton gets wet, it becomes a poor insulator and is not good at trapping body heat. This means you’ll feel much colder and face a higher risk of hypothermia. Instead, try to find clothing made of wool or synthetic materials.

Don’t forget to look for the right socks when you put your hiking outfit together. Socks that are made for hiking tend to provide more cushioning than typical cotton tube socks. They also tend to breathe better, which cuts down on sweat and leaves you more comfortable during long walks.

Waterproof:
Even when the weather is nice, it’s a good idea to wear a waterproof, windproof jacket. You never know when conditions are going to take a turn, and a good windbreaker goes a long way toward keeping you dry and comfortable. If rain is a possibility on the day of your hike, you might also consider carrying a rain poncho.

During wet weather, wearing hiking pants is a good way to keep your legs dry when you walk. These pants tend to be more durable than slacks or jeans, as well as more water resistant. Hiking or rain pants protect you from rain, puddles and any mud or brush you may encounter on your favorite nature trail.

Thermal:
Cold weather can make a long hike much less pleasurable. The best way to keep warm during a hike is to wear insulated or thermal clothing that keeps your body heat in and the cold out. A wool sweater is a good choice because it is well insulated and more water resistant than a cotton shirt. In particularly cold weather, thermal underwear is great for staying warm, although harder to take off than a sweater, should the weather take a turn for the better.

Backpack and Bags:
Whether you’re hiking down trails or through an urban setting, you need something to carry all your gear in. If you don’t plan to take much with you, a smaller belt pouch or messenger bag will usually do the trick. But, if you’re planning a longer hike, it’s best to carry a backpack. While a school-style book bag holds plenty of supplies, a hiking bag is the recommended choice. Among other things, it’s designed with better storage capabilities and added comfort in mind.

Even if your bag doesn’t seem too heavy at first, carrying it for prolonged periods can really wear out your back, arms and shoulders. If you’re walking with a heavy load, make sure you take frequent breaks to give your shoulders a rest. If you’re carrying a messenger bag that only goes over one shoulder, switch sides frequently so that both sides of your body share the burden.

GPS and Navigation:
In this day and age, many people already carry a GPS with them at all times. Even a basic navigation app, such as Google Maps, can be indispensable – both walking around the neighborhood and through the woods. Provided your cell phone has service, determining the best path to your destination can be as simple as a single tap. However, for routes that take you deep into nature, it may be best to travel with an actual GPS. A device designed for hiking typically has a much longer battery life than most smartphones, especially if you use your phone to play music on the trail.

Not only can a smartphone act as a guide with the proper GPS app, many other apps also offer other useful services to hikers. MapMyWalk serves as a GPS, calorie counter and route planner, all in one. In addition to tracking your progress on each walk, MapMyWalk stores data from hikes you’ve taken in the past in order to let you see a clear picture of your fitness progress.

Not only can you save data from previous walks, you can also share the information with your walking-enthusiast friends (to compare everyone’s progress) and post achievement notifications on your favorite social media sites. This brings a social aspect to your walks without the need to locate a walking group in your area.

Of course, MapMyWalk isn’t the only app out there that’s useful to fitness junkies. There are countless pedometer apps available as a free download, many of which offer unique designs or features. Not only that, services like Google Fit or Samsung’s S Health provide a free way to plan and track your fitness journey. No matter which path you choose to explore, the use of an additional tool to track your progress is a great motivator that will no doubt keep you walking for years to come.

Food and Drink:
Whenever you go out for a walk, be sure to bring plenty of water with you. If you don’t stay hydrated, you can end up suffering from the effects of fatigue or even heat exhaustion. While any water bottle will do, there is a variety of bottles designed with hiking in mind that are durable and lightweight. If you’re planning a trip that’s going to last more than a day, it’s probably a good idea to pack a water filter or water purification tablets too.

As far as food goes, you want to pack non-perishables that won’t weigh you down. This is especially true with longer walking excursions. Experienced hikers recommend eating lots of carbohydrates and proteins, which provide fast energy and keeps muscles healthy. Dehydrated foods are ideal, because they are easier to carry. Many walkers dehydrate and package their own trail snacks at home. It’s a much cheaper alternative to store-bought brands. It also greatly reduces packaging waste.

Remember, what you bring along with you can vary greatly from one walk to the next. If you’re taking a walk through your neighborhood, you won’t need much more than a good pair of shoes and a bottle of water. But, it doesn’t hurt to think about the addition of walking-related accessories. Choose from a variety of different fitness tools to help you get the most out of your walking workout. For example, weights and resistance bands are popular choices. Both are user-friendly and won’t break the bank.

For Your Safety:
If you live in an urban or suburban area, your best bet for a free walking route is likely the sidewalk or shoulder along the streets of your town. It’s crucial when walking near traffic to always be aware of your surroundings.

If there’s sidewalk available along your route, make it your first choice. Only walk along the shoulder of the road when there is no other alternative. If you must travel along the shoulder, make sure you walk facing traffic. That way, you can see cars approaching you and have time to react should any of the drivers not be paying attention.  

Make sure you apply sunscreen before you set out on your journey, and bring extra along in case you need to reapply it. It doesn’t take long for sunburn to develop. You’ll definitely regret it the next day if it does.

Believe it or not, even on a cloudy day, as much as 80 percent of the sun’s UV radiation makes it through our atmosphere. That being said, look for a sport sunscreen, or at least one that’s sweat resistant. Pay close attention to how often the label indicates you need to apply the product and follow the instructions to a tee.

Stinging or biting insects are a common problem along the trails, especially in the seasons that bring on great hiking weather. The best way to keep the bugs at bay is to use insect repellent, whether it’s an aerosol spray or lotion. It’s important to bring along enough insect repellent for everybody, especially if you’ll still be hiking at dusk.

Texting Dangers:
Years ago, before the age of texting, walking wasn’t quite as dangerous. Today, thousands of pedestrians are treated in local emergency rooms as a result of texting at the wrong time. What’s more disturbing is the fact that these numbers might even be higher. Why? Many people are too embarrassed to admit they fell or injured themselves in some other manner, while texting and walking.

Using your phone while you walk is more distracting than you might think. You’re doing something else, looking at something else and your mind is somewhere else. Think of it as three strikes against you.

A recent study conducted by Stony Brook University indicates that an individual using a phone and walking at the same time is 61 percent more likely to veer off course. Yes, you read that right – a whopping 61 percent.

In a separate University at Buffalo study, data supports the fact that more pedestrians are injured (per mile) using cell phones than riding in vehicles. When you think about it, those facts are really quite frightening.

Make a concerted effort to ignore your cell phone when walking. Take it with you in the event of an emergency. But, as a rule, you’ll be much safer if you just enjoy your surroundings and “just say no” to texting. You can always take up where you left off once you return home.

One last word of caution: the longer your proposed walking or hiking route, the more effort you probably want to put into the planning stages.

Tracking Your Progress:
When you’re walking for the sake of fitness, it’s important to keep track of when and how far you walk. If you don’t keep track of your progress, it can be difficult to plan out an effective walking schedule for the future. One of the best tools you can use to keep track of your walks is a walking journal or a calendar. With either (or even both) of these, you can easily take note of how far you walk every day.

Another useful walking tool is a pedometer, which keeps track of how many steps you take. This lets you keep a more accurate measure of how much you work out than tracking the time or distance that you walk. There are a wide variety of pedometers available on the market, as well as apps that let your smartphone track your steps.

Sticking to Your Walking Routine:
Once you start following the routine you’ve established, it can be easy to slack off if you’re not careful. If you let yourself slip or decide to “take it easy” for a day, it can eventually lead to you dropping the walking routine altogether. Here are a couple of ways you can keep your walking routine engaging and fun.

Set Goals:
Establishing goals for yourself is a sure way to get the most out of any activity. Goals help you to structure your time and effort. They also give you something to work toward, which provides you with reason to push yourself. Achieving your goals also makes you feel accomplished, which leads to a boost to your self-esteem.

Setting goals is especially important when it comes to walking for fitness. Of course, walking is still great for your body if you set out without a plan. You will still get some benefit out of each walk. However, in order for walking to have a serious positive impact on your health, you’ll have to walk on a more regular basis.

It’s best to start out small. For many new walkers, this means planning to walk for around fifteen to twenty minutes. While this may not seem like much walking, remember that it’s important to set goals that aren’t too hard to accomplish. If, once you go on your walk, twenty minutes doesn’t seem like enough, feel free to start out with a longer walk next time.

Once you have determined a reasonable distance goal, and you’ve managed to achieve it with each of your walks, it’s important to step it up. Of course, how exactly you add to your workout is up to you. But, if you add some time to each workout at regular intervals, you can expand on the fitness progress you’re already making.

Once your goals are established, backing down from your walking routine will be like breaking a promise to yourself. Keep track of how many days you can successfully follow your routine. This will give you that extra drive to get out and walk. If you’re thinking about skipping a day, you’ll have to reset your count.

Mix It Up :
One reason you may find yourself straying from your walking routine is that doing the same thing day after day can become tedious. While this is true, there’s no reason that your walk has to be the same every day. Turning each walk into a different experience can be as easy as walking in a different direction.

Walking in a new environment helps to keep walking fresh, even if you do it daily. This doesn’t mean that you have to travel far away in order to walk. If you plan on walking around your neighborhood, use a street map to plan out several different routes of the same length.

Make Walking Fun:
Consider one, two or all three of the following ideas to make walking fun. The first one is utilizing a free app such as Charity Miles, to help others. This app keeps track of the distance you walk and donates 25 cents per mile to one of several charities. Charities include Autism Speaks, Habitat for Humanity and Pencils of Promise. Obviously, the more you walk, the more the charity benefits.

Geocaching has been around for quite some time. In the event you’ve never heard of it, think of it as a high-tech treasure hunt of sorts. In simple terms, you pick a local geocache that sounds like something you’d love to find, and use any GPS-enabled device (think cell phone) to locate it. You can easily download the official app and learn all about it at geocaching.com.

Invite a friend to join you for a movie or an afternoon of shopping. If you live within walking distance, getting there is a no-brainer. If your destination is too far away to walk to it, drive part of the way, park somewhere and walk the rest of the way. If you’re shopping, think of the money you’ll save because you won’t want to be weighed down with shopping bags on your way back to your vehicle.

Power Walking:
In the event you find walking enjoyable and want to kick things up a notch, you might want to consider “power walking.” Also referred to as “fitness walking” or even “race walking,” power walking burns almost the same amount of calories as running. Even better, it’s much easier on the body. The reason being, walking faster requires the use of more muscles. This, in turn, burns calories more quickly.

Once they get used to it, most fitness walkers are able to cover the distance of one mile in 13 to 15 minutes. Avoiding these common mistakes helps anyone to walk faster.

* Don’t hunch your shoulders
* Don’t use weights of any kind – this includes both ankle weights and hand weights
* Avoid looking at the ground
* Avoid over-striding
* Don’t use excessive or vigorous arm movements

When you power walk, keep your shoulders down and relaxed possible. Use good posture, keeping your chin up to a high level. Try to look approximately 20 feet ahead of you. Take smaller steps. To make it easier, pretend you’re walking along a straight line. Push off using your toes. Try to land on your heels. Breathe naturally, taking deep breaths. This helps you to get the most oxygen traveling through your system.

Your feet are always in contact with the ground when power walking. The good thing about this is the fact your body is never floating in mid-air, waiting to make harsh contact with the pavement with every step.

Statistics show powers walkers lose approximately four times as much total body fat as “regular speed” walkers, over the same period of time. Power walking, at four to five mph, burns close to 565 calories in 60 minutes.

Here is another interesting statistic. Women who participate in three 30-minute (high-intensity) walks and two normally-paced walks a week lose six times more belly fat than women who take five leisurely walks a week. Yes, six times! That’s really something to think about.

Race-walking is basically a step up from power walking. There’s actually a specific technique to it, as well as a strict set of rules. It is somewhat tricky to learn, but the benefits are greater. Race walkers get a much better cardio workout and burn more calories than other categories of walkers.

Getting Started:
When it comes to walking to get or stay fit, this information is really just the beginning. If you’re not yet convinced walking is for you, why not try walking on a “trial basis”? One-fourth of an average city block is equal to 200 steps. So, walking around the block, one time, racks up 800 steps. If that’s too much to start out with, cut that distance in half and then challenge yourself to walk a little further each day.

If you don’t want to walk alone, chances are a friend or family member will be willing to accompany you. Not only will you both benefit from the exercise, it’s also a great way to catch up on gossip or just life in general after a hectic day. Not to mention there’s safety in numbers.

Remember, walking as a wonderful family activity. Getting everyone involved is probably easier than you think. It’s the perfect time to spend quality time together. In addition, it’s never too early to start thinking about good health. You can almost guarantee that if they start exercising early, your kids will thank you for getting them involved when they get older.

Honestly, there’s absolutely no better time than now to dust off your walking shoes and hit the trail, sidewalk or even your driveway. Everyone has to start somewhere. You won’t know if you find it enjoyable until you try.