Walking is great exercise. A good walk clears the mind and gets the body in motion. The American Diabetes Association recommends walking to lower blood sugar levels and maintain good health.
Research shows that taking regular walks lowers your overall risk for diabetes. Some research even indicates that for every 1,000 daily steps someone takes, their systolic blood pressure is lowered by .45 points!
Another study published in The New England Journal of Medicine found that women who walked enough to meet physical activity requirements each day were at a 30% lower risk factor for major cardiac events, like heart attacks, when compared with those who do not walk enough.
The bottom line? Walking is great for your health. However, sometimes walking can get boring or repetitive. Or maybe you are looking to challenge yourself on your next walk. Either way, here are some tips to spice up your daily walk.
Walk With Weights
By carrying light to moderate dumbbells, or using ankle weights, you can enhance your next walk. Walking with weights attached to your body increases resistance and makes your body work harder to push forward. This can build muscle tone and give your cardiovascular system a great workout.
Change Your Terrain
For the best walking experiences, choose new settings for your daily walks. Switching it up between roads, sidewalks, dirt paths, hiking trails, and your favorite scenic places allows for variety, which will quell boredom. Also, your lower leg muscles must engage different muscular groups on different terrains. So, walking on a variety of terrains can improve muscle tone.
Instead of walking at one static pace for the duration of your walk, try switching it up by challenging yourself with intervals. When interval training, you’ll walk at a normal pace for 2-3 minutes, and then switch to a higher speed pace for 30 seconds to 1 minute, then repeat the cycle. This engages the cardiovascular system and is a good workout for the lungs, heart, and muscles.
Walking every day provides immeasurable benefits for your health and well-being. If you want to enhance your walk, there are plenty of ways to do so. Simply getting out for a daily walk is already enough to satisfy your body, however, challenging yourself with new methods is never a bad idea!