The US Department of Health and Human Services recommends adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity per week, or about 30 minutes 5 days a week (1). But just how can we manage to fit that recommendation into our daily lives? After all, not everyone has access to a gym, equipment, or the time to commit to a consistent daily workout routine—not to mention the motivation to get started!
Walking is a simple, low-impact solution that can help! Adding more walking into your daily routine will not only improve your physical fitness in the short-term but will also provide long-lasting benefits for both your physical and mental health.
Keep reading to learn how incorporating walking into your daily routine can provide these benefits, as well as to find tips on how to fit walking into your busy schedule!
Walking can be a great option to help you fit in your recommended activity each week! For starters, walking requires very little equipment and is free to enjoy. The hardest part is simply finding the time and motivation to get started, which we'll cover later in this guide.
By incorporating walking into your daily routine, you'll be rewarded with many tangible and life-long benefits, including:
It's easy to see that walking not only helps with many physical aspects of your body but also improves your mental wellbeing. By increasing your time spent walking, you can start to see some of these benefits in your own life!
You may be tempted to go from 0 to 100 when starting up a new walking habit but that can quickly lead to burnout or worse: an injury. The key to making walking a long-term exercise that you enjoy is to take it step-by-step and set a goal that works for you.
Although 10,000 steps has become the standard goal for many fitness devices and apps, the reality is that you don't have to reach 10,000 steps per day to reap the benefits of walking.
Taking a brisk walk for 30 minutes 5 times a week can help you to meet the recommended guidelines for aerobic exercise but be sure to do what suits you and your lifestyle and start at a pace that fits your needs.
If you are currently living more of a sedentary lifestyle, you can simply start small and work toward those larger goals over time. Increasing your goal steadily over several weeks or months can be a great starting point, no matter your baseline fitness level.
If you're only able to fit in 10 or 15 minutes of exercise into your day, don't sweat it. You'll make that time up later on as you settle into a schedule that works for you, and doing some exercise several times a week is always better than none at all! Take pride in your accomplishments, no matter how big or small, and work your way up from there!
It can be easy to forget your walking goals amidst running errands, working, taking care of children, planning and cooking dinner, etc., so preparation is key to help you prioritize your goal to start walking more!
Before starting off your new walking habit, make sure to:
Now that you've done all the prep-work, it's time to prove that you're ready to work towards improving your health for the long haul! Avoid burnout and stay consistent with these tips:
There's no one-size-fits-all walking schedule that will work for everyone, so do what works best for you to help you achieve your fitness goals. Although it can be difficult to start and to stay consistent, we hope these tips will help you as you incorporate more walking into your daily routine. Your body and your mind will surely thank you!
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