Summer is a great season to make due on your resolutions to get fit. Starting a new fitness routine can be a little daunting, but improving your health doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, it can be as simple as putting one foot in front of the other! If you haven’t incorporated any type of fitness routine in your life purposeful walking is a great way to get started.
Walking is an effective, easy, and low impact way to improve your health. In fact, regular physical activity as walking can provide major benefits, including:
- Reduced risk of heart disease
- Weight loss
- Lower blood pressure and cholesterol
- Reduced risk of developing diabetes
- Stress relief
Set aside some time in your day, choose a safe and favorite route (We are fortunate in Harlem to be surrounded by a multitude of parks), invest in some comfortable walking shoes, and go! While it’s ideal to get at least 45 minutes of moderate exercise a day, any amount of activity can be beneficial. Remember, start slowly and work your way up if you haven’t been exercising regularly. Aim to walk a short distance three times a week, and increase your distance and speed gradually. (If you take the subway everyday try catching it one station further.) Stay motivated by walking with a partner, listening to music, or choosing a route that you really enjoy. Try carrying a pedometer to keep track of how far you’ve gone. As your body adjusts to the new activity, you may find that you have more energy, your moods feel more balanced, and you feel healthier overall. If you set realistic goals and stick to them, you’ll be amazed at what a simple daily walk can do for your health!