Make no mistake, all that talk about the walk is real. Walking daily is excellent for one’s overall health. Walking improves heart and pulmonary health, reduces risk of stroke and diabetes, lowers blood pressure, lowers cholesterol and so much more. I was going to school and had a desk job at the same time, we all know both entail a lot of sitting immobile in front of a computer for long periods throughout the day. I gained weight eating snacks to keep me going while I sat there, often chugging Mountain Dew to stay awake, none of which was helping. The sitting wasn’t either, my back became a silent victim. My back was silent until it screamed in pain that stirred me to see a spine specialist who wanted to give me shots for pain management. Here I was, only in my mid-twenties and my doctor wanted to put me on pain management for my back.
I discovered the hard way at only twenty-something that immobility was one of the biggest detriments to our health. Walking was my number one weapon in the health battle that changed my life. I was sickly and suffering. It didn’t take long for me to get that way once I became less active with work and school. I was desperately trying everything to feel better from doctor visits to the meds they prescribed in a big guessing game of what might work. Nothing they prescribed yielded relief. I am an active person and being confined to my bed in my prime was killing me not only physically, but mentally as well. I wanted so badly to get up and go and do, but I just felt too bad. My back hurt, my joints ached, and I was constantly tired. I knew in my head what I wanted to do and should be doing without question at my age.
This couldn’t stand, this couldn’t be, I was not going to let it. I had to change something before it got worse. I knew I could not just take off running like a fresh young Derby Filly right out the gate though. I had to start small and work my way up. Walking, we do it every day and take it for granted not realizing just how much it does for us, for our health, and overall wellbeing. Walking greases the joints allowing them to move more easily, improves posture, builds strength, while also relieving stress and improving brain function.
The Added Bonus
Walking gets all of the body moving. The more you do it, the more you will see yourself tire less and be amazed at how easy it becomes to go farther and longer. Weight loss is a bonus and most people don’t even realize walking is a major tool. Walking is a key start, it’s the big burner after jogging and running without being so hard on your knees. I lost nearly 600 calories or more each day I walked in the beginning not including my diet changes. The stronger I got the farther I went and if you do a brisk pace it is considered active time until you stop. Active time is a period of nonstop movement that can increase your endurance and caloric burn. The more weight I shed walking, the better my body began to feel all around because the strain from the extra pounds was also making me miserable.
You can walk everyday, rain or shine. Slide that coffee table out of the way on those rainy days and walk it out to your favorite jams. Pull up a You Tube Video to walk with. You can modify your walk to level up or down depending on need or capability. For Example: I added cross fit to my walk as I got stronger. My walk includes side strides, zig zags, or grape vines on some days while on others I keep it simple depending on my other workouts executed during that week. Before you even think about the extra workouts just start walking and you will know when you are ready to add those. It is important not to overdo it and become too exhausted to successfully complete your weekly goals. Just go walk, enjoy some beautiful outdoor scenery, the sound of nature or your favorite tunes that get you pumped. Just go walk!