Many people do it as an economical form of transportation. Some do it out of necessity, or just because it's what the doctor ordered. Others do it for exercise. Still, more people do it just for fun and to explore the local community.
Walking is a terrific, low-impact aerobic choice for improving your fitness. When you're able to walk at a pace that gets your heart rate into your target heart rate zone, you will be rewarded with cardiovascular and health benefits, including lower blood pressure, a decrease in your risk of osteoporosis and heart attack, improved circulation, and a reduction in your stress level. Especially if you are a senior, walking is a great summer sport: it's easy on joints and muscles, and tends to have a lower injury rate than running and other high impact activities.
When walking the most direct route is not necessarily the most enjoyable one. Try changing the route you take and you will appreciate the variety, maybe even discover a thing or two about the area you might not have known. When walking the most direct route is not necessarily the most enjoyable one. Try changing the route you take and you will appreciate the variety, maybe even discover a thing or two about the area you might not have known.
Some suggestions for walking:
Always spend 5 minutes on stretches before starting out and when you finish. This warms the muscles and joints, stimulates circulation which prevents injury. Try to walk into the wind when you first start out and away from you as you return, especially in the cooler seasons. Use good leather lightweight hiking boots with one or two pairs of socks, especially when on trails.
Don't forget, when you walk, your feet hit the ground more than 400 times for each mile, so your footwear must be comfortable. Keep safety in mind if you walk at night, by wearing reflective clothing. Sunglasses and sunscreen are important, especially if it's a bright day or the sun is reflecting off the snow. Don't forget your lips, use a lip gloss with a SPF of at least 15.
Why physical activity?
The release on endorphins acts as a painkiller and tranquilizer, making you feel more relaxed. Eating and laughter can also release this chemical in our bodies. That same temporary "high" that you get from eating and laughter can be transferred to a more sustained "high" from physical activity. Focus in the process of enjoyment, not the end result.