Go for a Walk

Do you want to boost your health, strength, and overall well-being without sweating like mad or overexerting yourself?

Then going for a walk could be your answer! This is excellent news for those of us who aren’t athletic and don’t like to sweat!

Walking briskly for at least 10-minute per day, 4 to 7 days a week, is an excellent physical activity. For the best results, you should be slightly out of breath for it to benefit you.

Some long-term benefits of walking are to escape the general age-related conditions, such as obesity, high cholesterol, joint pain, inflammation, depression, and emotional stress.

The key to long-term success is setting your own pace!

When you first start, try walking every two to three days.

This will give your muscles and joints time to recover before walking again.

As you gain strength and endurance, you can pick up your pace.

Going slower is also better for those with arthritis or other conditions that may inhibit your walking ability because a slower pace can help reduce pressure on your joints.

Here are a few things to keep in mind before you, Go for a Walk:

  • Stretch before & after walking. Hold the stretch for 20 to 30 seconds. Stretching reduces soreness and improves your flexibility.
  • Be aware of your surroundings while walking.
  • Let someone know when and where you are going if you walk alone.
  • If you’re listening to music or a podcast, keep the volume down to hear sounds nearby like vehicles, people, or animals.
  • Check the weather before you go out to avoid getting caught in the rain.
  • Have an accountability partner.
  • If you struggle with balance or pain, consider using walking poles or sticks to help steady you. This also reduces some weight on your joints.
  • Talk to your doctor before starting any exercise program.
  • If the weather is terrible, consider an indoor space to walk, like a mall or a big-box store.
  • Invest in a supportive (and cute;) pair of walking shoes to avoid pain and injury, especially if you have foot, knee, hip, or back problems.

Disclosure:  This post contains affiliate links.

Here are two supportive and cute pairs of walking shoes, I highly recommend!

SkechersWomen’s Flex Appeal Sneaker with a Memory Foam

I Love, Love, Love these walking shoes! They are extremely comfortable, supportive, shock-absorbing, and with air-cooled memory foam cushioned comfort insole. 

They come in an array of ‘cute’ colors! I also, add another memory foam insert to make them even more comfortable. (I have very aching/tender feet).

Merrell Women’s Yokota 2 Walking/Hiking Shoe

These shoes are supportive and comfortable too. They have the mesh upper to help keep your feet cool.

They have an air cushion in the heel that absorbs shock and adds stability. Also, with a little more traction that grips. They come in some cute colors, too!

There are plenty of reasons to put

“Go for a Walk” on your to-do list.

Here are several benefits of a 10-30 minute brisk walk.

Improved Physical & Cardio Fitness – Walking is an aerobic exercise that strengthens and conditions your heart and lungs. Walking increases your capacity for activities like climbing stairs so that you won’t wear out or run out of breath.

Walking, bicycling, and dancing are excellent cardio activities that improve your heart rate and lungs. Cardio exercises burn a good amount of calories to help prevent weight gain.

If it’s been a while since you’ve moved your body, try easing into a cardio habit with short periods of lower-impact activities. When starting, you don’t have to exercise 30 minutes at a time. Do 10-minute spurts. This is how you will build and get stronger.

Increased Body Leanness and Healthy WeightThe hormonal changes and decreased estrogen associated with aging and menopause can cause weight gain and muffin top… eek.

Metabolism, the rate at which the body burns calories, can slow down. But exercise like walking has been shown to slow weight gain, could prevent it entirely, and will help lose that extra weight.

Although nutrition is a large part of weight loss, burning calories through regular walking can help you create a calorie shortage, leading to weight loss.

Go for a Walk

Improves Your Balance and Coordination – A mixture of walking, strength training, and specific workouts like tai chi or yoga can improve balance and help prevent falls, particularly in mature adults.

Falls can be rough. A fall can cause bruises, sprains, or more severe injuries like broken bones or concussions. Walking improves your lower body strength and balance, which will help keep you more stable and prevent falls.

Plus, doing a simple exercise like standing on one leg for balance and stability for 1 to 3 minutes every day will improve your balance. Hold yourself against a wall or chair with one hand if you’re unsteady. Do this until you build your strength and balance.

Strengthens Your Bones and Muscles – Walking is a weight-bearing activity that supports your body weight. Weight-bearing activities stimulate your bones and muscles to help keep them strong.

Your muscles fuel your metabolism, meaning you burn more calories throughout the day. However, muscle mass decreases as you age, and menopause speeds up the loss.

While strength training is the best way to maintain muscle, all types of exercise and walking may help slow the loss. Walking helps work several different muscle groups, including:

  • The quadriceps
  • Hamstrings
  • Glutes
  • Calves
  • Ankles

These muscles work simultaneously to push and propel you forward with every step. Your hip flexors, abs, and back are all helping support your pace and keep you upright.

Your upper body is working, too. Though not affected directly, it supports your torso and pelvis as you walk. If you move your arms or wear wrist weights while walking, you will also get an upper-body workout. 

Improves Your Mood and Fights Depression – According to one study. When you Go for a Walk for 30 minutes three times a week is an effective antidepressant. Cool!

However, don’t stop taking any prescribed medications without checking with your doctor first.
Walking can improve the quality of your life when you deal with depression. If you walked an average of 30 minutes 3-5 times every week, you’d have:
  • More energy
  • Feel better emotionally
  • Won’t feel so limited by your depression.
  • Socialize more

Go for a Walk

Reduces Back Pain – Walking is an effective method for dealing with your back pain.

A steady walking routine can lead to:

  • Stronger Muscles
  • Stronger feet, legs, and hips
  • Core muscles will get stronger
  • Stability for the spine

A healthy spine can:

  • Keep the body upright and balanced
  • Improves circulation throughout the body
  • Allows the body to hydrate better
  • Nourishes the soft tissue and washes away toxins from the spine

Revs-up Your Immunity – Walking strengthens the immune system. Physical activity like walking increases the number of white blood cells circulating in the system. These cells fight infections and other illnesses as part of your body’s immune system.

Researchers have found that people who walk regularly are less likely to suffer from upper respiratory symptoms such as cough and sore throat. If they did get sick, their symptoms were milder, and they were back to work sooner.

With as little as 30 minutes of exercise a day, you can give your body a boost and stimulate your immune cells. The more you move, the better prepared your body is to fight off pathogens.

Relieves constipation – A lack of balanced gut bacteria is linked to constipation. A study showed that aerobic exercises like brisk walking could help increase intestinal bacteria, an essential part of a healthy gut.

Walking helps to get things moving and improves your constipation symptoms when you engage in a minimum of 20 minutes of brisk walking 4 to 7 times a week.

Improves Sleep – Getting your steps in during the day can affect how well you sleep at night. In one study, midlife women reported sleeping better and longer on the days they walked.

So how does walking improve sleep? First, being exposed to natural light by walking outside in the morning helps regulate a solid circadian rhythm, promoting healthy sleep.

Walking is related to stress reduction and physical well-being, which could be a pathway to better sleep. Plus, the social benefits of walking with another person could boost your mood and improve your sleep.

Helps Ease Hot FlashesWhen you’re going through menopause, you may not feel very motivated to exercise with uncomfortable symptoms, like hot flashes and mood swings.

However, regular physical activity like walking can make menopause symptoms more bearable. Exercise is a great way to help you regain some control over your midlife body changes.

One study of women in midlife who walked daily was 49 percent less likely to report having hot flashes than those who exercised less.

Boosts Your Energy – Walking enhances the oxygen levels in your body. And triggers hormones levels of cortisol, epinephrine, and norepinephrine.

These are the hormones that help elevate energy levels. Going for a brisk walk when you’re feeling tired or in a slump may be more effective at boosting your energy than grabbing a cup of coffee.

A few ways to get a 10 min brisk walk-in:

  • While running errands – Walk the parking lot or around the store for 10min.
  • Waiting at the Dr. office – Walk the halls for 10min.
  • Climb up and downstairs for five min = a 10 min walk. (climbing burns more calories than walking)
  • Park in the furthest spot
  • Get off the bus or train a stop early to walk to your destination
  • Take the stairs
  • Encourage your colleagues to go on walking meetings away from the office.

 

Here’s to adding Go for a Walk to your to-do list!

Susie ∞ 

 

Share ~ Pin ~ Like

Thank you so much for your support!

 


*Please understand that we are not offering any medical advice. We do not attempt to diagnose, treat, or cure anything. In addition, we can’t promise that any natural remedy will solve a particular health/skin issue. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your discretion.


Disclosure:  This post contains affiliate links. Blooming in Midlife.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. If you click a link on this site and make a purchase, I may receive an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you. I appreciate your support of Blooming in Midlife ∞


References:

https://gennev.com/education/benefits-walking-menopause

https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/improve-your-balance-by-walking

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/regular-walking-can-help-ease-depression/

https://www.youareunltd.com/2020/06/12/get-out-and-walk-to-slow-aging/

https://prevailpt.com/2019/04/30/walk-your-way-to-back-pain-relief/

https://myhealth.alberta.ca/Alberta/Pages/winter-walking-tips.aspx

https://healthtalk.unchealthcare.org/walk-to-build-strength-and-endurance-one-step-at-a-time/

https://www.verywellfit.com/walking-for-your-colon-curing-constipation-3435138

https://www.byrdie.com/what-muscles-does-walking-work-5101488

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/think-act-be/201910/want-sleep-better-go-walk

https://www.healthline.com/health/benefits-of-walking#immunity

https://blog.myfitnesspal.com/5-reasons-walking-is-better-than-coffee-for-an-energy-boost/

https://www.everydayhealth.com/hs/menopause-resource-center/best-exercises/

https://www.humanoo.com/en/magazine/walking-for-the-immune-system/

https://ourkindra.com/blogs/journal/5-ways-walking-can-improve-your-health-at-midlife

2 Replies to “Go for a Walk”

  1. I am one of those people who don’t really love exercise. But a brief walk – as you explained here – can really have so many benefits! I’m inspired to add more walks to my days! 😊

    1. Hi Lisa! Awesome, I’m so glad you are inspired to walk more! Yes, it’s good to know that you don’t have to walk miles to get results. And that you can get fantastic benefits from a 10 min walk! Thanks for the comment!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

%d bloggers like this: