Well-being: Walk your way to health 20 to 30 minutes a day
Walking isn’t only good for your physical health, but also your mental well-being.
Did you know that walking is one of the simplest forms of physical activity? It does not require any special equipment or a high-level of fitness to take part.
Often underrated, walking has many benefits and has been proven to positively impact people’s health and well-being, which is why the Saudi Ministry of Health proclaimed March 5 as Saudi Walking Day. This day plays a key role in raising awareness of the importance of walking, encourages the public to take part in the many walking events being held to acknowledge the day, and provides motivation to adopt a healthier lifestyle.
What are the benefits of walking?
Walking can positively affect your physical and mental health, as it can help you manage your weight and ward off or manage heart disease, some types of cancer, diabetes, and high blood pressure.
Regular walking can also help strengthen your muscles, bones, and immune system, while improving your endurance, sleep, balance, and cardiovascular fitness. Walking has also been proven to help manage stress.
How can I start a walking routine?
If you suffer from any ailments, check with your physician before starting any form of exercise. If you are not currently physically active, it would be a good idea to start slow. Set a goal to walk at least 10 to 15 minutes per day for at least five days a week, and then gradually add 10 minutes to your routine to build up a duration and pace that are achievable.
Plan your walking route and choose a path that you would find enjoyable; you can always change it and choose a different route to keep things interesting and to help you stay motivated. You can choose to walk outdoors or even at an indoor location, such as a spacious mall.
Make sure you are wearing the appropriate type of shoes for walking, which should include thick soles that can provide support for your feet. Check with your local shoe stores to ensure your footwear provides the best level of support for your feet.
Wear appropriate clothing, depending on the weather and breathability of the fabric. Your clothes should allow you to move comfortably and protect you from nature’s elements. Don’t forget to wear a hat and apply sunscreen if the weather is hot outside. Always have water with you to stay well hydrated.
How much do I need to walk to gain benefits?
Depending on the fitness goals you want to achieve, strive for a brisk walk of at least 20 to 30 minutes a day, or if you want to walk at a relaxed pace you can increase the duration to 45 minutes to an hour. The important part is that you get started and stay consistent. Using a step counting app can also help, as many people strive to fit in at least 10,000 steps during their day. These can be counted when you are walking or even going about your day at home or in the office.
How do I stick to my new walking routine?
It’s human nature to get bored, so having someone as your walking buddy to hold you accountable and make the walks more enjoyable is always a good idea. Switching your walking location can also help, and rewarding yourself after achieving your walking goals can keep you motivated. Your ultimate target is to make walking a regular part of your day and to incorporate it indefinitely into your lifestyle.