Modern transportation has made life so convenient for us that walking can now be limited to moving around within the house to get those 10,000 steps. But what most of us don't realize is that walking is a great form of exercise that can help lower blood pressure, enhance glycemic control, boost metabolism, and increase longevity. A study shows that 30 minutes of daily walking can help lower mortality rate risk by 67% in older adults. Another study reveals lower body fat percentages (% BF) in active women than those with sedentary lifestyles.
Walking improves overall health without the need for any specific equipment, making it one of the best kinds of exercise. One can live longer and healthier simply by engaging in this low-impact cardio. Here are ten ways you can add more walking into your daily routine—
- Set Goals
Goal setting can help impact performance whether you're a newbie or an experienced athlete. Set daily step targets and slowly increase the count as you get more accustomed to the routine. Study shows an average American adult only completes half of their daily target of 10,000 steps. So, 10,000 steps a day is an excellent place to start the walking journey.
- Park Far
An easy way to incorporate walking into your busy life routine is to park the car a little further from the destination. If you decide to use the bus, get off at a stop earlier and walk to the destination.
- Dog Walking
Dogs love going for a walk. You can take your dog for a daily stroll if you are a pet owner. If you don't have a furry one at home, offer neighbors or family friends to walk their dogs.
- Window Shopping
If you're one to enjoy spending a whole day in the mall, go window shopping. It can be an enjoyable and inexpensive form of idle time, one could imagine. Simply stroll through a mall and admire the goods without purchasing while giving yourself the benefits of walking.
- Take the Stairs
Ditch the elevator and take the stairs, unless you're late for something, of course. Studies reveal that stair climbing consumes 8–10 times more energy than resting. This means it burns more calories than walking or jogging. Climbing stairs works the abdominal muscles, stimulates the spine, facilitates the organs, and decreases the likelihood of joint complications. It is an excellent exercise that can be done anywhere, everywhere, and throughout the year.
- Change Routes
Sometimes, taking the same route every day can become boring. So, try changing the path to make things fun. Walking can be more enjoyable if you choose to take a different route each day, and you may even discover new corners you didn't know about before.
- Walk with Friends
Get your buddies involved in your walking routine if they drop by to hang out. Invite them to take a brief walk with you around the neighborhood to bond and get some fresh air. Who knows, they might like your idea and make it a habit for themselves as well!
- Use Apps to Track Steps
Having an activity tracking app can assist in keeping track of daily walks. You can keep track of how many steps you walk each day and even how long it takes you to travel a given distance. Start with a shorter distance, and eventually, as endurance and speed increase, challenge yourself with a longer distance. Make it a goal to complete 1 or 2 kilometers during the time allotted by setting a timer on the app.
- Walk and Talk
Some phone calls drag on when there is much to discuss, whether business or personal. During such times, you can walk and talk to benefit from exercise, sunlight, and fresh air all at once.
- Run Errands by Foot
Studies show that 20 steps burn around 1 calorie. So, grab your cotton tote bags and run your errands on foot to burn calories and stay fit. Driving would, anyway, be a waste and unsustainable if the local grocery store is less than a mile away. If the trip is far and you must take the car, load the grocery bags one at a time rather than dragging them all at once to maximize exercise.
We hope these tips inspire you to come up with more ways to include walking in your daily routine. Happy walking!