National Walking Day – Take a Step in the Right Direction
The first Wednesday in April is National Walking Day. This observance reminds us of the great benefits this activity can provide, especially if you’ve been diagnosed with a chronic disease such as arthritis that can limit your mobility, cause joint problems and fatigue.
Walking Can Improve Your Condition
Walking is an excellent way to add more physical activity to your routine. It doesn’t require expensive equipment; you don’t need specialized trainers, and you can do it anywhere, even in your home.
Some of the health benefits associated with walking include:
- Improved circulation
- Stronger muscles
- Increased joint support
- Prevent bone loss
- Improves your mood
- Increases breathing capacity
- Slows down mental decline
- It helps you control your weight
Walking can also extend your life. Research shows that physical activity reduces many mortality risk factors. Adults in their fifties and sixties who exercise regularly are 35% less likely to die over the next eight years than their non-exercising counterparts.
The benefit is even more noticeable for those living with an underlying health condition, with research showing these individuals are 45% less likely to die within the same time frame.
The good news is if you have a chronic condition, as little as 60 minutes per week of physical activity can provide significant health benefits and boost energy levels and improve your overall quality of life.
Taking a Step in the Right Direction
Now that you know that walking can help you manage your symptoms, extend your life, and improve your mental and emotional health, you will want to take a step in the right direction and start an exercise routine.
While there are tips to help you get started before you begin any exercise program, you should speak to your doctor. Your physician can provide valuable advice on any precautions you may need to take while exercising.
Tips on How to Start a Walking Routine
Starting a walking routine is easy, but it requires consistency and setting realistic goals. One good way to get started to set weekly goals, start small, and gradually build up.
The goal during your first week is to get moving. Set a goal to walk 10 minutes a day every day. Remember, you don’t need to it all at once; you can break it into sessions.
If you can comfortably walk for ten minutes at a time, do so. You can also do 5 minutes twice a day, or even walk for 1 minute ten times a day. And if you can’t do 10 minutes, that is fine, do as much as you can. With a bit of consistency, you’ll be able to walk more every day.
During your second week, your goal will increase to walking 15 minutes per day. If you find it challenging to walk for 15 minutes straight, do as you did in week one and break it up into smaller sessions.
By now, you should start feeling stronger and more confident. So, the goal for this week is to walk 20 minutes per day.
Ideally, you will walk for ten minutes twice a day. Again, you can adjust the length of your walking sessions to fit your needs.
Over the last four weeks, you’ve challenged your body, and you are probably starting to see the improvements. Don’t get discouraged if you haven’t reached the goals you set in the previous weeks. The important thing is you are making an effort to be more physically active than you were before.
If possible, your goal for this week should be to walk for a total of 30 minutes. If you need to step it down, you can do 10-minute walks three times a day. If you feel up to it, you can walk for a full 30 minutes.
After the fourth week, you can continue walking 30 minutes per day, or you can continue to increase the length of your walks as gradually.
Remember to always speak to your doctor about how you feel, especially if you experience any new or severe symptoms after starting a new exercise routine.
The information provided on this blog regarding symptoms and possible treatment of illnesses is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Altus Biologics does not in any way guarantee or warrant the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of the information published in its blog and will not be held responsible for the content of any blog publication.
You should always consult your primary care physician for specific medical advice.