Walking, the Easy Choice

close up of woman's pink tennis shoes running with leaves falling.

Looking for a simple way to be active and improve your health? Walking is one of the easiest ways to start and maintain an active lifestyle. Walking does not require you to have special skills, buy expensive gear or join a gym. You can walk almost anywhere, almost anytime and at your own pace.

Regular walking can help with heart and lung fitness, strengthen bones and improve conditions such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol (NIH). Walking can also improve circulation and even lighten your mood (NIH). Step it up and go for a walk!

Why walking is the easy choice for better health.

Walking is simple:

  • Walking doesn’t require any special equipment or training. Comfortable footwear and clothing are the basics.
  • Walking is low impact and is easy on the joints. So there is little or no stress on the body.
  • Walking is easy to start and maintain as part of a regular routine. You can walk at any time of the day that works best for your schedule.
  • Walking can be enjoyed all year long. The weather in Orange County is usually favorable during the fall, winter, spring and summer. 
  • Walking can be done at your own pace. Choose the stride that’s best for you. You can start with 10 minutes at a time and slowly increase, or stick to your favorite speed.

Walking is for everyone:

No matter what your fitness level, walking is the easy choice for adults, kids, teens, families and seniors. Most people are able to walk, and many people with disabilities are able to walk or move with assistive devices, such as wheelchairs or walkers (HHS.gov).

Walking can help you stay socially connected:

Enjoy quality time by walking and bonding with friends and families. You can meet regularly and have a group walk. Catch up with friends and family by walking together.

Walking can be done almost anywhere:

  • You can walk in your neighborhood, public parks and beaches, walking trails and malls.
  • At work, walk on a break or as part of your lunch or have a walking meeting.
  • Want to find parks in your area? Visit the Activity Finder from MyHealthOC.org. Just enter a zip code or city and get directions to your selected park.

Follow these safety tips before your next walking adventure:

Walking may seem easy, but practicing safety, as with all physical activities, can lower the risk of injuries. Always check with you doctor before starting any fitness program.

  • Wear loose and comfortable clothing and proper footwear.
  • Chose a walking path or area that is at your fitness level and safe.
  • To protect you from the sun, bring a hat and use sunscreen.
  • Drink plenty of water before and after walking.
  • Take time to warm up and stretch before and after you go for that walk.
  • Start with 10 minutes at a time and slowly increase your distance.
  • Walk with a friend.

Learn the proper walking technique from the Mayo Clinic.

Sources:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/walking/art-20046261

https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/walking-for-good-health

https://www.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/call-to-action-walking-and-walkable-communites.pdf

https://newsinhealth.nih.gov/2016/03/benefits-walking

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