The last Wednesday in September is National Women’s Health & Fitness Day, a day that encourages women to take control of their health, make healthy choices and engage in regular physical activity. This year’s theme is: “Make the Healthy Choice…Get Active!”
In addition to eating right, drinking enough water and getting regular checkups, studies show that getting just 150 minutes of exercise per week could add an extra 3.4 years to your life! Women’s Health & Fitness Day is the perfect chance for us to get up, get moving and get started on our health and fitness goals.
What are the health benefits of walking?
Hippocrates famously said “Walking is the best medicine.”
And believe it or not, walking might be healthier than running. Walking briskly can lower your risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes as much as running – and it doesn’t put as much wear and tear on your knees and hips.
Walking also eases back pain, lowers stress and protects against dementia, osteoporosis and depression.
How long should I walk?
How long you should walk probably depends on your current level of fitness. A lot of people go by the 10,000 steps rule which amounts to roughly five miles – but that sounds a little scary to anyone just getting started! We recommend taking a walk in the morning, during your lunch break or after work, because these are great times of day to clear your mind and destress.
If you haven’t exercised in a while, try walking for five minutes, taking a break and going for another five. Research shows that doing anything physically active is infinitely better than doing nothing. So if you only make it five minutes, don’t beat yourself up – you’re doing great.
Need more help getting started?
We know it’s easier said than done. So if you’re nervous about getting started on the right foot, try sharing this post with a friend and inviting her to walk with you! Remember that health and fitness isn’t all or nothing – it’s step by step. So set a reachable goal just for today. And worry about tomorrow tomorrow.
If you’re looking for a little extra motivation, check out some of the materials we’ve gathered for you below.
- A Beginner’s Walking Guide for Obese People
- 5 Steps To Loving Exercise … Or At Least Not Hating It
- How Walking on My Lunch Break Helped Me Lose 60 Pounds