Health & Wellness

Walking for Better Health

Don't let the idea of JUST walking trick you into thinking it's not enough exercise. Walking, fast or slow, is great exercise that offers great benefits. It's true; walking can make a difference when it comes to a better, healthier life.

The benefits of walking include boosting your mood, enhancing balance, maintaining a healthy weight, handling health conditions, and strengthening bones.

If you're considering walking for better health, and you're serious about it, you will want to keep a couple of things in mind when it comes to posture and technique. Keep your back straight and your stomach muscles lightly tightened. Keep your head up and eyes forward. Let your arms swing freely. Relax your back, neck and shoulders. Roll your foot from heel to toe, walk comfortably.

Other things to consider when planning a walking routine include the warm up, cool down, and stretch. Begin and end your walk with a 10-minute warm up and cool down by walking slowly. When you have completed your walk, gently stretch your body and muscles.

You will also want to decide where you will walk. If you'll be walking outdoors, choose a route that is free of obstacles that will slow you down, such as uneven sidewalks or untrimmed trees and bushes. If you'll be walking indoors at, say, a mall, you will want to choose a walking time that is a slower mall time, as far as shoppers go.

The main thing, when it comes to a walking routine, is to enjoy yourself. Of course, it's hard not to when you know you're doing your body good.