We really enjoy talking about the healthy aspects of life and how you can benefit from the simple things like natural remedies. It’s a lot of fun talking about these things because they make a real difference in people’s lives. We look at the things which are simple and the things that work.
Today, we’re going to have a look at walking; how you can get the most benefit out of walking and what it can do for you, your life, and your lifestyle as well.
There are nine main aspects to do with walking. We’re going to have a look at each of these in detail. So journey with me and let’s all figure out this stuff together.
The nine aspects of walking that we will cover are: why walk, where to walk, who to walk with, what pace, the walking tools, the time of day, the mobility, the body chemicals, and last one is a secret that we will share to you at the end of this discussion.
So, WHY WALK?
Well, fitness is one really good reason. Whether it’s just getting out and about, or trying to elevate your heart rate, making sure that you’re not “puffed out” next time. Overall health is very important, and overall fitness fits in with that very, very well. Mental health is also included, which means healing your stresses and/or de stressing yourself. It’s important that you realize that getting out and walking helps a lot with these things.
Do you realize that one of the reasons why people are really stressed today is because they are always cooped up inside and never really get out? It’s almost like having A fever. You’re stuck inside, you don’t know what to do, and you’re stuck in an environment which you’re not really comfortable with. Getting out and making a difference in your life, seeing different things and experiencing real life can really help.
Entertainment is important too. Sometimes you just want to move and see different things. It’s very important that you get out and recognize these. So why walk? It is because of entertainment.
Last but not least is travelling between places. Walking really helps when you want to move between A and B. You don’t always have to take your vehicle, you don’t always have to drive a car, and you don’t always have to ride a bike. Sometimes, just walking between places, even if it’s just going down the shops, and enjoying a general stroll to get a bottle of milk or a loaf of bread from the local shop is very important because it’s very simple. It allows you to de stress, get out, and enjoy the environment.
The next major point is WHERE TO WALK? You could go to the park, the beach, alongside the road, you could walk the kids to school, and you could go, as mentioned, to the shops to get a loaf of bread. You could walk through the mountains, at a scenic route, and have a look out there. It’s a lot of fun going through mountainous areas. There’s a lot of wildlife, trees… It’s just really, really good to get out and about.
Where else to walk? Well, you could walk up the stairs instead of taking the elevator or the escalator. A lot of buildings are equipped with stairs, but not many people use them. They always seem to stick with the lift or the elevator. Do yourself a favour and use the stairs. Walk around your house, or your yard. If you haven’t got a big yard, walk up and down the local street instead. Lastly, if you haven’t got a lot of room to move, then you might have a video game, like a Wii fit program or something like that, which I don’t really recommend. It’s always better to go out and walk around. But, you never know. Video programs can be a lot of fun as well, especially if you do it with a lot of people.
Okay the next aspect of walking is WHO TO WALK WITH? Now, you can walk by yourself, which is a very tranquil experience at times. It is very enjoyable to walk by yourself sometimes. But oftentimes, you just want to be out and about with other people. Sometimes, walking with a partner for a casual stroll really does you good. It might be your spouse, or your kid. Walking with your kids or your family is fantastic because it allows them to bond with you, to do simple things. Bonding with your children or family in doing simple things such as walking is definitely the way to go. It allows them to just get out and about, be with you in the same space, and just see who you are, without being anything different. Just seeing people out, walking, out and about, is a lot of fun. They’re enjoying it, with the sunshine and the fresh air, and even on occasional cloudy days.
Walking beside water is also very, very tranquil as well. It makes a lot of sense because it gets you back to nature. So, who to walk with? Firstly, your friends, your family, even your kids. That’s great. However, consider your pace. If you are walking with your children, you shouldn’t go too fast so they can keep up or so that they can at least keep up with the pace, to keep everyone happy. This might mean that if your children are in strollers, you still take the opportunity to put them in their strollers while you walk together. Talk to them along the way. It’s really, really good as a family activity.
The next point is PACE. What pace should I do? It can be a fast pace, a brisk walk, or a slow saunter. Are you doing it for fitness or weight loss or to elevate your heart rate? Are you going to be carrying small weights with you? Are you going to have an iPod in your ears so you’re going along to keep the pace? If you are doing a fast pace, just remember that you might not be able to continue with that pace for a long, long time. However, if you can, well that’s great because you’re elevating your heart rate and that’s great for fitness. If it’s a brisk walk, then that’s great too since you wouldn’t be putting too much strain on your bones and joints and you’re getting great fitness at the same time. Now, if it’s a slow saunter, sometimes that is just a de stressing element, when you want to literally de stress your body. You’re just wandering aimlessly through the bush or besides some body of water. You’re just casually looking around. It really de stresses you and it’s really good.
If you carry small weights in your arms, one in each hand, let’s say half a kilo or even a kilogram each, then that will really make a difference. Within a couple of minutes you’ll notice the weight burn. I recommend that you stick to only a couple of hundred grams in each hand because over time, even half an hour later, it will really add up and you’ll notice the difference. Your arms will be aching, as well as your legs. If you want to keep a decent pace, one of the best things to do is listen to some decent walking music on your iPod. I find that listening to music from internet radio, particularly the fast paced dance music, will help you set a really great pace. As you’re walking along, you’ll be able to go on walking for miles and miles without even noticing it. What I’m trying to say is, setting a pace with music makes the time go quick because you’ll be concentrating on the beat of the music and moving your legs to that pace without realizing that you’re actually travelling a lot farther than what you would normally accomplish.
Now the next point that you’ll want to look at is the WALKING TOOL. What do you really need if you want to go walking? One of the things I find is to just keep it simple. So what do you really need? Nothing. You just need yourself. There’s no excuse to not get out and walk. If you want to go for a walk, then go for a walk. You don’t need any special shoes or clothing.
But, if you want to get fancy, then you can get into these other aspects. If you want to monitor how fast or how long you can actually go then you can use a pedometer. It measures how far you’ve actually travelled. It also measures how many steps you’ve taken, your heart rate, and all that sort of stuff. You can have walking dumb bells or weights, as mentioned before, they are walking tools. You can have an iPod or iPod shuffle or an mp3 player with some pace music, mood music, or just some sort of emotional audio in order to give you a particular emotional trip as you move along. You might have an audio book on your music player too if you want. You might be interested in reading a book, but you just don’t have the time, so you can put it into audio format instead and have it read to you. In other words, an audio book can be read to you as you’re walking along. In essence, you’re killing two birds with one stone.
You might need a hat and some shoes and some cool clothes because as you’re walking along, you might get sweaty and it will be rather hot for you. So a hat is a good idea if you’re walking under the bright hot sun, and you want to make sure you have great shoes, comfortable ones, so you won’t have sore feet. Just remember though, they are not necessities. I find walking barefooted can really be de stressing as well. Walking with the sand between your toes, or kicking along the grass with your bare feet, it’s just really nice. Sometimes walking on gravel can be very stimulating. Don’t forget, the nerves that travel through your body go through your feet as well, so walking barefoot also helps massage your feet and all the other organs in your body can be stimulated through the nerves in your feet.
As you’re walking along, don’t forget that you’re going to get dirty, so you might want to have a water bottle. Now, what do you put in it? Could it be milk, or some other sort of drink? I would suggest that the best drink to have in your water bottle is plain and simple water. If you want, you may add a couple of pinches of salt in there as well, because as you do walk along, you will be losing some salt from your body. They may be electrolytes or some similar stuff. It is important that you have some sort of drink as you’re walking along, especially on long walks. It is important to take in a couple of sips of water or more to keep you from becoming dehydrated. Bring along heaps of great music, they are great walking tools to set the pace. You may use the music from the internet radio, as mentioned or some pre-recorded music on your mp3 player.
Now the next aspect of walking is the TIME OF DAY. What time of day is best for walking? It depends on what you want to achieve. Walking in the morning is fantastic for weight loss. As soon as you wake up, you have a drink of water with some lemon squeezed into it, perhaps with a couple of pinches of salt, and you get up and you walk for about half an hour or an hour. It helps remove all the toxins from your body and lose weight as well. If it’s midmorning or midday, you’re really going out to achieve something, and you might be kicking up a bit of a sweat if you go walking on midday. That is fine too because it really depends on what you want. The afternoon is great for a stroll, where you can just meander or saunter between places, just for the sake of checking things out, or going here or going there. You might have a bit of a routine where it’s cooler in the afternoon and that’s when you’d rather check things out, and that’s also fantastic. It is a lot of fun walking in the afternoon or in the early evening. Just remember that first thing in the morning is great for weight loss because you’re removing the toxins from your skin and your body, from your whole system. So go have a big drink of water and go for a nice walk for about an hour, and you’ll notice the difference after about a week or so.
If you do a routine and you want to walk at a certain time of day, try to make it during the same time of day, each day, because it will set a routine. Now sometimes, we put off walking because it can be difficult to get out and make your mind up, claiming we’re too busy to keep it up. However, getting out and doing a stroll or some sort of meaningful routine walk everyday at the same time is a lot easier to achieve. Another thing is, if you’re working in an office, it is great to get out at lunchtime and just go walk for about half an hour, at your own pace. You might get a little bit hot and sweaty, but if you cool down and walk in the shade at the end of it, with some nice hydrating element at the end, then you’ll be cool as well.
Which brings us on to the next aspect, and that is MOBILITY. Now, not all of us are able-bodied people. Some of us do not have all four limbs, nor two legs. So walking can be a challenge, particularly to people with mobility issues. However, this is not a reason why you can’t get out and enjoy the great outdoors, to go walking in order to achieve fitness. I’ve seen a lot of people with crutches, or with only one leg, who got up and about. Admittedly, even though I have two legs, I find it hard to get out and do what I’m actually telling you now. However, I realized that if other people can do it, walk around, and enjoy doing it, then there’s no reason why we can’t do so as well. You might have minimal movements in your legs, probably due to particular diseases or ailments, but it’s not a reason why you can’t get out and enjoy a nice stroll. It’s important that you get out once in a while and move. That’s what it’s all about.
Walking is movement. It is enjoying where you are, the scenery around you, the people you walk with, and the fact that you can get out and just enjoy yourself. That’s what walking is all about. If you’re stuck in a wheelchair, it’s still not a reason why you can’t get out and go for a stroll or a push around the local park or the local street. Getting out and about is what we’re after here. We’re after health, health and living, getting out, and enjoying life. It’s all about movement.
Now let’s have a look at the second to the last point, which is the BODY CHEMICALS. As we walk, we consider that our bodies use up different types of chemicals and they have different chemical reactions. Do you feel good when you walk? Your body releases endorphins and serotonins as you do so. Are you out of breath all the time? Are you sick, and you feel as if you can’t get up and move? I’m telling you that walking is fantastic for your overall health. Here are the aspects that I believe are very important. Walking does make you feel good. Even if you don’t feel good at the time, afterwards, you will feel a lot better. This is because your blood is already circulating around your body. It really helps make you feel good because your whole body is being oxygenated. It gives you life and vitality.
Now, endorphins are released as well. They are the happy juice things that run around your body. You get pleasure and enjoyment once endorphins are released all over your body, from your brain. Serotonin can do this as well. They are the chemicals in your brain that make you happy. So when you walk, you will get these two chemicals released and they are very important for your overall health when you have these running all over your body. If you get out of breath, if you’re already struggling to breathe, don’t push yourself, just go slow and start on a small walk. Increase the pace and lengthen the walk as you go along. There’s nothing wrong with adding on a short walk. It’s very important not to push yourself at first, but build up and go stronger and stronger as you go along.
Now, here’s the next point, which a lot of people don’t quite get. If you’re feeling sick, it’s important to rest. But it’s also very important to get out and get some fresh air, and I suggest walking. Do this at your own pace, without pushing your body too far. However, walking is also very important even if you are sick. If you have a head cold or a chest cold, and you’re feeling sick, get out and go for a walk and you will feel a lot better afterwards.
And now let us go to the final point. The final point, which everyone should walk for, and a lot of people forget about, is FUN! You’re getting out and you’re doing something different. You’re getting out and you’re enjoying yourself! You can form a good habit, you can have fun by exploring here and there, and you can do fund raising activities wherein if you walk for several kilometres or miles, someone could sponsor you and you can generate some funds for local charity. It could be a great challenge. For example, if you have several kilometres to walk for and you want to reach it on a certain period of time, say two kilometres for two minutes, or something like that, then you will be able to push yourself to meet that challenge. If you start off slow, and you increase the challenge as you go along, well then, that will make it all the more exciting. The next day you might move a little bit faster, and you might be able to beat your time limit then by several seconds or minutes.
You should have a set routine for your walk. It might be around your block, or through a certain path. If you do this, then you will realize that, setting yourself up for a bit of a challenge just adds to the fun. Sometimes it’s just good to get out and see different things. Especially if you’re feeling a little bit depressed, then get outside and go for a walk, no matter what the weather is outside. If it’s snowing, you can always put some warm clothes on before getting out. Just get out and do something different.
So, we have said that you can get out and look at walking as a fun thing. It may be some sort of exercise, but it will make exercise a fun thing to do as well. You just have to enjoy it.
Walking for life is a massive benefit. It really highlights your time so that you can get out, explore, see different things, and just look around you. Life is there to be lived, not to stay inside and not do anything. If you have a look around, you’ll see what life is like. You could just walk down a simple pathway, with nothing else around you, except perhaps some street, or something like that. My point is that getting out and walking will do you so much good. I’m really excited for you and what walking can do. I really hope you have the opportunity, the chance, and the inclination to get out and walk. Enjoy your life!