Walking, it’s healthy, easy exercise and a great habit to get into, not just for the health benefits. It’s also a great way to get around, if you live close enough to resources like grocery stores, doctor’s offices and the like. If your New Year’s resolutions included getting fit, or driving less, walking should be high on your list of things to do. So how do you incorporate your feet in your day-to-day moves?
First off, just start walking. Slip on some comfy shoes and go for a walk around the block. Or around several blocks. When you’ve done that, get informed. Go check out your neighborhood’s Walk Score. You’ll find out how walkable your neighborhood is, and get a list of great local resources within walking distance. The website also includes bikability and transit scores.
Obviously, walking or biking to as many of our daily errands is the ideal solution, but what if you don’t live in a very walkable area? Do you have to move to get moving? Nope! You can still take a walk, just for the pleasure of it, well, and the health benefits.
There’s an app for that
The American Heart Association has a Walking Paths app that helps you find places to walk, and keeps track of your walks and your progress. It’s available for iPhone and Android, and it’s free.
MapMyWalk is another app that uses your smartphone’s GPS to help keep track of your walks and it’s available for iPhone, Android and Blackberry, or check out the Everybody Walks app. And those are just three of the multitude of apps available to help plan, encourage and track your walking progress. If you’re walking with Fido, you can download MapMy DogWalk for the iPhone, or the Petometer, available for Android and iPhone.
Want more motivation to get out and get moving?
- Regular walkers have fewer heart attacks and strokes, lower blood pressure and higher levels of healthy cholesterol than couch potatoes.
- Walking stimulates the brain. Studies have proven that walking counters faltering memory in people over age 50.
- Taking a walk is a natural stress reducer and mood elevator, plus gives you a boost of energy and improves the quality of your sleep.
- Regular walking lowers your risk of arthritis and even cancer by 50% compared with non-exercisers.
Plus, regular walking in your neighborhood keeps you in touch with your community and neighbors. And if you’re taking it to a hiking trail, getting out in nature is good for body, mind and soul. Walking is a good choice for your health, and the planet’s.