With Sub-zero temperatures and several inches of snow it becomes very tempting to sit on the couch and relax. However, despite the weather tempting us to sit still it is very important to get moving, especially going on walks. Walking has several health benefits and is relatively easy to do.
Recent studies greatly encourage the need for walking. For example, in one study for patients with Type 2 diabetes it was shown that walking for 45 minutes, three days a week greatly reduced blood pressure, increased fat metabolism, and helped reduce patient’s weight. Besides helping with the health of the body, walking also has benefits for the mind. In a separate study there was a strong link with walking three days a week and decreased levels of depression.
Not only does the weather tend to keep people from walking, but so does pain. Often people do not feel like going for walks because they have pain from osteoarthritis in their joints, especially their knees. As previously mentioned in another of our articles, it has been shown that walking over 6,000 steps in one day reduces the pain for those with osteoarthritis.
Walking not only is beneficial for your health, but is fairly easy to start doing. When compared to other forms of exercise walking is inexpensive because all you need is a pair of shoes and the desire to get outside and walk.
If you are interested in beginning a walking program, here are a few tips for you:
1. If you are busy throughout the day, plan a time over your lunch break or after work and make walking a part of your day.
2. If you enjoy talking, begin walking with a friends or co-workers so that you are able to socialize during your walk.
3. If it is cold or snowy outside, feel free to walk from one side of your house to the other.
4. If you don’t have the time or don’t feel that you are able to walk for 45 minutes at one time, that is okay. Short walks throughout the day are also beneficial. Often it is fun to be able to see yourself increase the amount of time you can walk.