Keep it Easy! How Walking Can Help You Achieve Your Fitness Goals
ZOZOFIT wants to know: when you think of “fitness,” what do you think of? Someone sweating it out doing a speed workout on the track? That guy at the gym powerlifting with what seems like superhuman strength? The cyclist who just finished a century ride?
You don’t have to be sweating, sore, and in need of a cold plunge after every workout — especially when you are just starting your fitness journey. Many people looking to improve their fitness often go too hard too fast with exercise, which can lead to injuries and frustration.
Walking — that activity we do every day — is actually a great way to improve fitness, whether you are a seasoned athlete or a personal fitness beginner. It’s also easy to do: all you need is a pair of shoes and somewhere to walk.
Hopefully, that won’t be too hard to do. Many people enjoy walking around their neighborhood, their city, or through parks, beaches, and other public recreational areas.
Improve Cardiovascular Health
Just like running, cycling, and many other endurance sports, walking can improve your cardiovascular health. Even though going on a walk may not feel strenuous, walking can strengthen your heart while at the same time lower your blood pressure.
Cholesterol is another important thing to think about and, according to Healthline, cardio can “keep your arteries clear by raising ‘good’ high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and lowering ‘bad’ low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels in the blood.”
Feeling sluggish or fatigued, but not sure what is causing it? Try to cure this feeling with a walk! Although it may seem counterintuitive to exercise in order to feel more energized, cardio exercise can help us wake up and feel better throughout the day.
Walking is especially good for that 3:00 PM drowsiness. When you think you’ve hit a wall at your 9-to-5, make time for a short walk and then finish out your day focused and energized.
Is one of your fitness goals related to weight loss or reducing your body fat percentage? If so, then adding walking into your daily schedule can help you achieve those goals!
When you walk, you burn calories, which then in turn decreases your body fat. To really see changes, though, you’ll want to make walking a consistent part of your routine, especially if you aren’t currently very active.
One thing that could definitely motivate you with weight loss or fat reduction is finding a way to track your progress over time. With a ZOZOSUIT, you’ll be able to take your body measurements at regular intervals and see how your body fat percentage changes over time.
You might also consider a fitness tracking device like a FitBit, which will be able to show you both how many steps you have taken and how many calories you have burned. Using this data, you’ll be able to optimize your fitness in this area! And then you can utilize the ZOZOSUIT to track changes in your body using our cutting edge 3D body scanning technology.
Strengthens Your Bones
If you’re young, you probably haven’t thought about the importance of bone density before. As you grow older, maintaining healthy bones becomes more and more important, as bones lose density when we age — something that is especially true for women in menopause or postmenopause.
Weight-bearing exercises, like walking, make your body — you guessed it — support your weight, which in turn increases your bone strength and density. This is why walking is such great exercise for older folks and retirees.
If you’re young, start walking now, and if you’re older, it’s never too late to work on your fitness!
Did you know walking can build muscle? When you walk, you are using a lot of muscles in the lower-half of your body including your glutes, quads, hamstrings, calves, and all of the muscles in your feet. With repetitive activity, these muscles become stronger and can then endure more strenuous exercise.
If you’re new to walking, don’t start out with a five-mile walk. Work your way up to longer distances to give your muscles time to strengthen and develop.
Interested in building even more muscle through walking? Try increasing your walking pace (which also has benefits to cardiovascular health), walking on more difficult terrain (like trails), or walking at an incline.
Improves Mental Health
It’s long been said that exercise improves mental health — and we’d be remiss to not include improved mental health as a benefit to walking in this list.
When we’re walking (and doing other types of exercise), our body releases endorphins. These hormones can help reduce stress and ease pain, both of which are great benefits.
Walking also will get you out in nature. For as long as humans have been around, being in nature has been something that grounds people and helps them calm down. When you’re walking outside, even if you’re just in your neighborhood, you get to experience the natural world around you. To really reap the benefits of nature, take out your earbuds and listen to the wind in the trees, the sound of birds, or the buzz of insects.
These mental health benefits are known to alleviate the symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder and clinical depression. Still, though, sometimes it can be hard to get up and go. If you struggle with your mental health, consider asking a friend to walk with you or hold you accountable.
Do you have trouble sleeping? Then, you have another reason to add walking to your personalized fitness routine.
While the jury’s still out on how exactly walking improves sleep, there is hard evidence to suggest that it does. When you improve things like your general cardiovascular health and mental health, you’re already able to overcome barriers that many might have to sleep.
Exercise also can make your body tired because you are expending “extra” energy throughout the day. Walking could also improve sleep because it causes a change in your core body temperature, which, when it drops, will prepare you for sleep.
Whatever the reason walking helps sleep, know that you can get a good night’s rest!