(BPT) – With so many fitness trends, you might not think of walking as good exercise. If you’re not thrusting a kettlebell over your head, pushing a tractor trailer tire or shaking your hips to a Top 40 dance beat in a scheduled group class, you’re not cutting it, right? Well, not so fast. Walking is actually a great way to get in shape. In fact, if you walk often enough and fast enough, the simple act of putting one foot in front of the other can satisfy your body’s daily requirement for aerobic activity.
Walking may just seem like an old method of exercise; it certainly is tried and true. But quite the opposite of outdated, it seems to be making a resurgence in the health, fitness and medical worlds as a low-cost solution to the nation’s ongoing health care crisis.
Renowned medical expert Dr. Andrew Weil is an advocate of walking as a crucial method of preventative care. He advocates walking as a low-risk means to optimum health.
“With a consistent, brisk walking routine, you can boost your immune system, help manage weight, improve your mood and help ease depression, as well as improve cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure and prevent osteoporosis,” says Weil. “The additional benefits may be endless.”
The walking movement is growing: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that between 2005 and 2010, the number of adults who walked for 10 minutes or more at least once a week rose from 56 to 62 percent – an increase of almost 20 million people.
Need more convincing reasons to walk onto the bandwagon? Here’s why walking for exercise is so ideal:
* Walking is what your body is designed to do.
*Among all forms of aerobic exercise, walking carries the least risk of injury.
* You can walk almost anywhere, any time.
* Nearly everyone can walk, and it’s something you can do throughout your life.
* It’s free.
* There’s no special skill, training, or equipment needed – all you need is the right footwear.
The buzz about walking has even reached the stars. Fitness trainer to celebrities such as Kate Walsh, Pink and Stacey Kiebler, Juliet Kaska has been known to start many of her high-profile clientele with a consistent walking routine. Kaska recommends walking as a great baseline for any fitness program, but reminds her followers to “invest in a good pair of walking shoes. They will do wonders for your posture and joints. Minimizing the impact of each step. Look for lightweight flexible shoes and be sure to replace them often, especially if you’re walking every day.”
As you develop your walking program, set your own pace. As a general rule, taking 10,000 steps a day is a great goal for improving your overall physical, emotional and mental fitness. But the journey, as they say, begins with a single step. There’s no better time than now to begin.