Walking, we do it constantly, without a second thought. After all, you learned it at a very young age. For those that have a purpose, it becomes essential to have a goal to meet and it does not have to be drastic. So why do we go walking for health benefits?
For general health and fitness, lose weight, to relax, or just to enjoy the outdoors. For others, due to less than perfect physical health, chances are that your doctor, cardiologist or pulmonologist gave you a simple prescription – go walking for health benefits. There are no wrong answers and all the above scenarios apply. How much one is willing to walk for health reasons will depend on many factors. Let’s take a look at a few.
Going Somewhere – For a Different Reason
You can walk to work, to the store, in the park or even wander aimlessly. Everyone has a reason for walking. What works for one person, is entirely different for another. We are talking walking here, not hiking, that’s a different sport. It does not have to be a race and one would still see some beneficial results. One thing is for sure, it will affect the mind in a very positive way.
Bad day? So sorry! Job got you stressed out a bit? Get a bit of relief from just going for a walk. Clear your mind, enjoy the surroundings, it all beneficial. One also has to understand the difference between tension and stress. Aren’t they the same thing? The short answer is NO, but, they are co-related!
Stress is a response that was triggered by a sort of stimulus regarding an environmental condition put upon you. Tension on the other hand is regarded as an unstable mental condition bestowed on a person as they suffer through a difficult situation under nervous strain.
Try singing a song while you walk. Can’t think of one? Well, you are in luck because today and today only, I’m gonna give you a list of songs that any sexagenarian would be happy to walk to.
If you are into a bit of cultured attire for your walk, consider Tina Sinatra’s “These Boots Are Made For Walking” (1966). Perhaps you might prefer any of the following as a choice to get your rhythm going.
- Walking In The Rain – The Ronettes (1964)
- You’ll Never Walk Alone – Gerry And The Pacemakers (1963)
- I’m Walking – Fats Domino (1957)
- Walking After Midnight – Patsy Cline (1957)
- Just Walkin’ In The Rain – Johnnie Ray (1952)
- Walk This Way – Aerosmith (1975)
So those are just a few of many songs written about walking. Load up that iPod and get those feet in gear.
Walking With A Friend – The Dog
Okay come on already! It’s playtime and you are holding the dog back. Besides, there’s business that needs to be tended to. Go on, go have a blast. Not only will your four legged companion get to walk, but you are gonna have a good time.
Makes for great bonding between you and your dog. After all, didn’t you make a commitment when you brought him or her home?
Animals know things that we don’t seem to sense as humans. After all, they don’t load up on all that junk food or delicious adult beverages like we do. They are born to be active and social. Listen to them and you will feel much better.
So how much do dogs enjoy walking? Watch them when they are asleep and begin to have pleasant dreams. Many times you may see that they seem to have a smile on their faces and those feet are just a movin’ along. Same goes for taking the dog for a swim. They joy they feel, they relive it in their dreams.
It only takes a couple of tools to get the job done. Let’s see! Shoes, jacket (not always required), leash, ball, bottle of water for hydration, and oh yeah, the dog! Its very easy to get man’s best friend excited to go for a W-A-L-K. Just watch how active they become at just the mere mention of it. Try doing that with a B-A-T-H!
Get out there and play!
Still Need A Reason – Got You Covered
First of all, walking does not cost anything, zip, nada, nil! Consider it one of the few times you can get a free pass, and walking for health benefits, well, that’s priceless. Strange how we can come up with a zillion reasons to not do it and yet, most of those procrastinated moments would not be included on a healthy list, either physical, emotional or psychological.
If you take the time to write, as I do, walking can be a surefire way to get rid of writers block. Everytime out for a walk gives another reason for finding something creative to write about. That’s how this idea came about. Additional great reasons for walking include, lower blood sugar, good for your heart, bones and skin. Discovering places that didn’t seem to be there before now. A great reason to break in new shoes… You get the picture.
A Breath Of Fresh Air – Planning Pays Off
Good planning, as always, can be the key to getting the most benefits for a good walk. As we all know, most urban areas are filled with various forms of pollution and avoiding the worst areas can bring more benefits to your outdoor activities.
Finding a good path should be easy and if you are near a lake or river, better yet. Ask a friend to join you and find out where they prefer to walk. Some folks like to walk the same path all the time, and that is not a bad thing. Knowing the distance you are going on a regular basis can work very well with any exercise plan and makes setting goals quite efficient.
They say that there is strength in numbers, and that my friends is true. Those numbers are in distance, not people. Although, that can help too. My own walking path takes me along the river, across, down the other side and back across.
It may not seem like much, but for my spouse and I, it is plenty. Only 3.25 miles in distance, but when you do this 3 to 4 times a week, it adds up. It doesn’t help that I am disabled and walking can be very difficult on some days, but at least we get through it together and are able to meet our stated walking goals.
Sometimes finding just the right place(s) to walk can bring interesting challenges. Long hills, stairs, anything with some sort of obstacles to distract you and be very beneficial to the mind, and you heart. Grab a pedometer or still yet, your modern cell phone should have an app that can keep track of you vitals and the distance walked. Just put it all together and go outside to enjoy some uncluttered moments in your life.
Here are some other great reasons to get outdoors and walk.
The Fourth Of July – Time For A Walk
In order to get there, you probably are going to have to walk. Just like these costumed musicians (photo on the right), everyone gets to have a good time walking.
Just play it safe since there will be many like-minded folks out there and be aware of your surroundings. Lots of music, food, and fireworks. Have a great time and enjoy the show.
Now get out of here and get going. The best spots may already be taken, depending on where you live or will be soon.
Just remember, whether you realize it or not, you are
Walking For Health Benefits !
That’s my show!