Walking - Your Best Medicine | Personal Training Tips in Kirkland

It’s likely no surprise that Hippocrates said ‘Walking is man’s best medicine.” Though he said this many years ago, (460 – 375 BC), it still very much applies today!
Quite simply, going for a walk is one of the easiest, most accessible ways for many folks to transform their lives from a sedentary lifestyle to an active one.  And all it requires is lacing up a pair of shoes and walking out the front door!  

Why walking?  As it turns out, most adults prefer walking to other forms of exercise, for a variety of reasons:

1. It’s an easy way to start and maintain a physically active lifestyle that combines exercise, health promotion, fun and transportation. 
2. It lets people be nurturing, when walking their dog or pushing a stroller; social ~ when walking with friends, family or colleagues; or meditative, when walking alone. 
3. It requires no special skills or equipment, is extremely low injury risk, and offers participants lots of flexibility in determining effort and intensity.

Walking helps prevent or treat dozens of disease ~ too numerous to mention here, but all the major ones that come to mind!  Recent research reveals the fascinating information that walking is AS effective as antidepressants and therapy for depression, and at least as effective as most routinely prescribed meds for pre-diabetes. 

What keeps people from walking? Barriers to overcome include lack of time, safety concerns, disabilities, chronic health conditions, poor community design, and preference for sedentary leisure activities, such as watching TV, surfing the net, or playing video games.  That said, just half of all adults in the US meet the physical activity guidelines for exercise of at least 150 minutes a week of exercise.

Pointers for successful walking: 

1. Feet and ankle weights increase energy expenditure, but also increase the risk for overuse injuries.
2. Weighted vests increase energy expenditure and may be especially beneficial for those who can’t quicken their walking speed.
3. Carrying light weights is NOT effective at increasing energy expenditure, and carrying weights in just one hand may contribute to injury. 
4. Treadmill walking increases energy expenditure significantly, and if people can’t walk quickly it can help them achieve significant energy expenditure for weight management at speeds as low as 1.7 miles an hour!
5. Walking in green spaces, whenever possible, carries the best overall health benefits ☺

 



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