This post was a collaboration and may contain affiliate links. I know many women who simply can’t do the typical, popular video workouts. Honestly, at times, I am in that category of women who need something gentle but effective. Keeping fit doesn’t mean you have to nearly kill yourself at the gym or spend half your life on the treadmill. In fact, over-exercising can be just as bad for your body as not exercising at all. For this reason, I highly recommend a consistent walking routine that gets you moving more. I honestly believe it’s the best way to gently get fit. Remember, before you start any new fitness program, consult your physician. Here are my top 5 reasons why walking is the best gentle exercise.
Walking Is the Best Gentle Exercise #1: It Doesn’t Increase Your Appetite As Much
Have you ever noticed that you feel absolutely ravenous after an hour at the gym? Unfortunately, this might lead to binging or reaching for fatty, filling foods. You’re not alone. The harder we push our bodies, the hungrier we get. And, no, there is nothing wrong with you if this happens. Our bodies do what is necessary to keep us alive and our energy up. Hunger is a natural physiological response to a massive calorie deficit.
So, what happens when you walk? Though you can burn a substantial number of calories walking, you won’t feel quite so hungry. The reason is that your body is expending energy and burning calories gently over a period of time. The stress on the body is far less and doesn’t trigger that instinctual response. I do recommend that you stay hydrated during your walks. Additionally, try a light snack when you are done if you need to refuel a bit.
Walking Is the Best Gentle Exercise #2: You’ll Tone Up
You’ve probably heard this before: “If you want to tone up, you need to hit the weights hard,” or “Do some tough body-weight exercises!” This is true if you’re looking to build substantial muscle or enter a fitness competition. You should know that walking for 30 minutes to an hour a day will improve the tone of your arms, legs, and butt. If you wear ankle weights or carry light dumbbells on your walk, you’ll notice even more results. If you get bored with just walking or are not seeing the results you want, shake things up. Add additional 10-minute exercises before or after your walk. Make sure to research which type of exercise is best for you. You can find all sorts of information and reviews online.
Walking Is the Best Gentle Exercise #3: It’s Great for Your Mental Health
Walking is indisputably positive for increasing your fitness level, but, unlike some other exercises, it’s also great for your mental health. Not only is it easier to convince yourself to walk, but getting outdoors and breathing fresh air has been shown to relieve stress, help with depression and lessen anxiety. Stress, in particular, can cause you to gain weight, so the importance of this should not be underestimated.
Walking Is the Best Gentle Exercise #4: It’s Easy to Get Started
If it’s been awhile since you’ve exercised, plunging in head first with high-intensity activities will only lead to burnout and possible injury. It is much better to start slowly until you’ve built up some endurance before tackling anything else. If you are able to walk, you can do it almost anywhere you are. You can even incorporate it in everyday activities like shopping, walking the dog, and taking the kids to the park.
If you are not mobile at the moment or have a disability, do what you can to stay active. I believe in focusing on what you can do as opposed to what you can’t. As an MS patient, I do have some limitations with how far I can walk, but I don’t let it stop me from trying. It’s important to me to push myself to greater accomplishments on a daily basis. This challenges my body to get stronger and not give up.
Walking Is the Best Gentle Exercise #5: You Can Always Add Intensity Or Distance
It is easier to increase the intensity of walking than almost any other exercise. All you have to do is walk further, uphill, hike or add ankle and wrist weights. Do some research about walking routines and the equipment you’ll need to increase the workout. You can easily find what you need online https://www.amazon.com/s/. I use ankle weights on occasion and increase the incline on my treadmill if I’m walking inside. The most fun I’ve had walking is in a beautiful park with lots of trees and hills.
Walking is something most of us can do regularly without risking injury or overdoing it. It is a fundamental part of any health and wellness plan that can improve your self-esteem, fitness level, and your state of mind. Even if you already have a savvy workout plan in place, I recommend that you still find time to simply walk.
**** This post is strictly informational and is not meant to replace the advice of your health care provider. Women’s lifelink, it’s owners, administrators, contributors, affiliates, vendors, authors and editors do not claim that this information will diagnose, treat, or improve any condition or disease.