Did you know something you already do every day is actually one of the best forms of exercise? Walking allows people of all fitness levels and ages to fulfil their daily recommended exercise. Walking may even prolong your life and prevent certain diseases. It’s easy to fit a walk into your daily routine and it’s free too. If you have a sturdy pair of walking shoes, you’re already halfway there! Keep reading to find out some of the great benefits walking has to offer.

Woman walking a dog

Walking every day is one of the most important steps you can take to stay active and independent as you grow older. The hardest thing about walking — just getting started! 

Walking can:

  • Burn calories
  • Keep your heart healthy
  • Lower blood sugar
  • Boost immune function
  • Ease joint pain
  • Improve your mood
  • Boost energy
  • Tone leg muscles
  • Increase your lifespan
  • Help with creative thinking

Getting Started

Walking with a friend can make it more fun and help you make walking a habit. Setting goals helps too. 

Start with a stroll to the mailbox or around the block and see how you feel. Try adding five minutes a day until you reach 10,000 steps (you can buy a pedometer to track your steps for about $10 to $15).

When the weather is bad you can walk at indoor malls and at community recreation centers.  You can also increase your steps by getting off the bus or train one stop early, parking further away from your office than normal or maybe even walking instead of driving to do errands. 

Always talk to your doctor before starting a new fitness routine and choose a route that’s appropriate for your fitness level and age. Now, why don’t you head to the mailbox and get a few steps in today! 

Author
Denver Health Medical Plan Staff Writer