Now that spring is in sight (finally!), my thoughts have turned again to the tremendous benefits of walking. I love walking for several reasons: I can do it at any time and at a moment’s notice, it requires no equipment other than a sturdy pair of walking shoes, it boosts my energy and improves my sleep, gets me away from my desk and computer screen, and so much more.
In 2011, Toronto doctor Mike Evans produced a short video that has now been shared more than 4.5 million times. Called 23 and ½ Hours, it outlines the positive health impact of walking. Have a look:
I rediscovered the joy of walking last fall when I ventured out on the walking path that encircles my former employer’s office complex. I decided to set aside 15 or 20 minutes at lunchtime to go for a walk. A lap was good for about 2,200 steps toward my daily goal of 10,000. I quickly came to recognize the regular walkers and would exchange a nod or quick hello as we passed. I absolutely loved it.
I admit that I let my daily walking routine slide once the winter weather hit. I am definitely a fair weather walker! I don’t like being cold or having wet feet, so I am thrilled that the weather is now improving.
I am fortunate to live near the Credit River in Mississauga and to have quick and easy access to the David Culham Trail, which is great for walking and cycling. It’s still fairly wet though, so for now I am walking around my neighbourhood for 20 to 30 minutes each day. I also have a pair of Nordic walking poles that I like to use. They give me a good upper body workout and also provide extra stability on uneven surfaces. I highly recommend them!
Consider building a walk into your day. The health benefits are undisputable and it’s something that most people can do. Start small and then begin to increase the distance and length of time you walk. Before you know it, you’ll start feeling the difference physically, mentally and emotionally. Go for it!