Walking as an exercise

It might sound weird – the activity that everyone does pretty much every day can be an exercise? I never thought of  it that way before until I started going on long walks almost every day and noticed the benefits. When I walk a lot during the day I can definitely feel it in my legs at the end of the day, so that’s kind of a workout, isn’t it? Even if walking in a city is not as intense as hiking or jogging, it still improves our health.

Benefits of walking

  • As an aerobic exercise it strenghtens the heart and lungs
  • Lowers blood pressure and boosts circulation
  • Improves muscle endurance as well as muscle strenght, especially in the lower body
  • Beneficial for bones
  • Prevents varicose veins through the pumping action of the calf muscles
  • Helps to get rid of waste products in the tissues
  • It can lower the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, asthma, dementia, stroke and some cancers
  • Boosts the vitamin D
  • Improves balance and coordination
  • Eases stress and improves the mood by the release of endorphins
  • Helps to sleep better

The easiest way to exercise

We do it every day anyway and it’s easy to increase it to get more of it, for example instead of meeting up with your friend in a café go on a walk to a park, or challenge yourself to walk somewhere where you would normally drive a car. All you need is a pair of good quality shoes that will not give you blisters, water to hydrate, and sunscreen to protect your skin. To make it more interesting you can invite a friend to walk together, or listen to some music or podcasts.

How I work out

I don’t do anything extreme at all, for the most part it’s just the walking for example to parks, the beach, in cities that I’m visiting, or sometimes I go on hikes. Apart from this I have a 15 minute morning routine which consists of pilates exercises and stretching and I do this every day, just because it has become a habit and it feels good to be active in the mornings. It’s a gentle exercise but it could get you a bit sweaty as well. Approximately once a week I like to go swimming as it’s good for my spine and asthma, I used to go twice a week when it was with a trainer but now I just do it on my own.

My parents always wanted me to do sports and when I was just five years old they signed me up for tennis. I did it for nine years while I would also go horse riding in the summers. At fourteen years old I switched to swimming and I did it for about two years, then I tried golf and then pilates classes, and that’s what I enjoyed doing the most. My body absolutely agreed with it as I don’t like anything too intense, even though it was intense in its own way. Since I moved out of my hometown I haven’t been able to attend the classes but as I did it for about four years I learnt a lot and I can exercise pilates just at home by myself. Of course it’s not as motivating as when you’re in a class but I still enjoy it.

It’s very important to try out different sports and see what suits you the best, you may be the opposite of me and do jogging while I would rather play golf. You are lucky if you have a dog so you get to go on regular walks, or if you have a bicycle that you can use to get to school or work. There are so many opportunites every day for us to be active, we just need to learn to enjoy it and make it regular 🙂

Let me kow what kind of exercise you’re doing or what you would like to try!

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