Why Walking Is A Great Form of Exercise

Are you looking for an easy way to get your daily exercise? Walking is gentle on your body and provides a fun, low-impact activity. Another great thing about walking is that you do not have to buy special equipment or memberships. It is free! Here are some other reasons why you might consider walking as a daily exercise regimen:

Walking Strengthens Your Cardiovascular System

If you walk regularly, you can reduce your chances of cardiovascular disease and stroke, says an article from HarvardHealthPublications.edu. Not only is it an ideal cardio workout, but it can also increase your level of good cholesterol and bring down your bad cholesterol numbers. Even if you take a brisk walk for a half-hour a day, you can enjoy your neighborhood scenery and perhaps lower your blood pressure.

Walking Can Lower The Risks Of Certain Diseases

There are many studies concerning the benefits of walking to ward off diseases. A study from the University of Michigan Extension found evidence that daily walking may prevent diabetes and obesity. This study also noted positive correlations between walking and reducing the risks of heart disease, joint pain, depression, and even some forms of cancer.

Walking Can Help Your Weight Loss

The number of calories burned while walking depends on your weight and how fast you are walking, explains an article from livestrong.com. If you weigh about 200 pounds, says the source, you may burn up as many as 100 calories in 30 minutes. When you do it every day, you can see results on the scales.

Walking Can Tone Your Whole Body

What better exercise can you devise that can be so simple, yet benefit the whole body? Walking is especially good for toning the muscles in the legs, hips, and buttocks. When you add an incline by walking uphill, the resistance is even better for your muscles. Your abdomen and waste will also see benefits from daily walking.

Walking Benefits Your Daily Vitamin D Intake

An article from ScientificAmerican.com warns that nearly 75% of teens and adults have a serious Vitamin D deficiency. This crucial vitamin affects our immune system and bone health. The best way to get Vitamin D is from the sunshine. If you are outdoors on a walking excursion every day, you will get plenty of exercise and a good dose of Vitamin D.

Walking Energizes Your Body

We can all use some more energy throughout the day. A brisk walk is one of the best ways to get it. Walking increases your breathing and oxygen flow, as well as your circulation. Every cell in your body benefits from more oxygen and blood nutrients. After you walk, you may feel more energized and alert. If you suffer from an energy slump in the afternoon, walking may be the best thing to fight it.

Walking Is A Natural Mood Enhancer

If your mood could use a little boost, try taking a brisk walk. It encourages your brain to release endorphins that minimize anxiety and stress. Walking is an effective tool to reduce depression, says an article from WebMD. A stroll through the park can do wonders for creating positive mental health.

 

Ways to Exercise this Winter

Winter is right around the corner, and for many people, it brings with it the winter blues. Don’t let the cold get you down this winter; shake up your daily routine and get the exercise your body is craving, even during those freezing months by trying new and inventive ways to squeeze in a workout. Whether you want to be indoors or out, check out my tips for keeping in shape this winter season.

Outdoors

  • Rake some leaves! If you’re nestled in those months of winter between when the earth loses its color and when it actually snows, chances are your yard is littered with leaves galore from autumn.
  • Shovel your driveway. This one is weather permitting, but if you’re faced with a fresh snowstorm, one of the best ways to work up a sweat is by clearing your home’s paths and walkways of snow.
  • Take up skiing. You’ll get the same exercise from snowboarding and ice skating, but this winter, try taking up a winter sport for fun! You’ll be surprised how much exercise you get while having fun, so much so you won’t even realize it until you’re sore the next day!
  • Play in the snow. If you’re lucky enough to have a day off from school or work due to snowy conditions, take advantage of the opportunity. Go for a walk in the grass through the snow to avoid slipping on ice, have a snowball fight, or build a snow fort!

Indoors

  • Go to the gym. While it may not be the optimal option for exercise during the winter, especially if you hate working out around other people, the gym is the perfect place to squeeze in a winter workout because it was built for it! Find a gym you like, and start going regularly to beat the winter blahs.
  • Take the stairs. This tip is a little one you can incorporate every day to help keep your body in better shape. Take the stairs instead of escalators, and if the weather is nice, try parking farther away from your destinations to make yourself walk a little farther.
  • Be an active TV watcher. No, I don’t mean make sure you pay super close attention to your Netflix bingeing; rather, be active while you watch TV. Try running in place, planking, and doing sit ups during commercial breaks.
  • Try doing yoga. Although many people prefer to do it outside, yoga is a great form of exercise that you can do indoors at any time during the day and during the year.

Staying Active on No Time

In today’s world, using the words “time” and “gym” in one sentence is hard to do without the word “no”. However, you don’t have to have time or go to the gym in order to stay fit. Many of our lives are overwhelmed with work, travel, and family time, leaving exercise the last thing on our priorities list. Here are some tips for staying active, even when you have no time in your schedule!

  1. Walk/Bike

If possible, one of the best things you can do for yourself is to walk or bike to your destination. It’s recommended that an average person walks 10,000 steps (or 5 miles) per day in order to stay healthy. If you sit in an office all day, being active is crucial to your health. If you can’t walk or bike to work, use your lunch break to be active. Twenty minutes out of your lunch break can make a critical difference in your lifestyle. It’s also a great idea to stand up and stretch your legs every half hour. Even a few steps will help!

  1. Park Far Away

Many people rely on vehicles to get around on a day-to-day basis. Try parking farther away in the parking lot and walking to your destination, and take the stairs instead of elevators and escalators. Remember to walk straight and suck your belly in for extra benefits to the core and back. This will allow you to squeeze in those extra steps in and get the blood flowing without even noticing.

  1. Use the Powder Room

Setting goals for yourself is a great way to sneak in a workout. Although it may sound funny, try doing 10-12 squats every time you go to the bathroom. If you use the bathroom 6 times a day, that’s already over 60 squats! If you’re up for the challenge, lunges are also a great, powder room workout. Don’t worry about someone walking in on you; you’re bettering your body by doing something rather than nothing at all!

  1. Compete With Yourself

There is no better person to compete with than yourself- or technology rather. If you don’t have a fitbit, most cellphones have fitness trackers, and in today’s world, who doesn’t constantly have a phone on their hands? You can add your personal information onto these trackers in less than five minutes and start watching your daily activity. You’ll be amazed at the daily results and start focusing on getting those steps in! This is a great way to set goals and motivate yourself to keep active.

  1. Use A Bedtime Routine

We all have a bedtime routine! If you’re not a morning person, adding little workouts to your bedtime routine is a great benefit, and can even help you sleep better! Before hopping in the shower, try doing some crunches and yoga stretches. Your body will thank you for missing a few minutes of sleep for these simple exercises.

4 Post-Baby Belly Workouts

As a new mom, you know how difficult it is to get back into the shape you were before your baby. You’ve gone through the pregnancy and delivery and are now wondering how you can get rid of the paunch you have leftover from those long months of carrying your child. It’s likely you’re incredibly busy, exhausted, and feeling discouraged about accomplishing the goal of improving your abdominal muscles, but it’s certainly possible! There are hundreds, probably thousands, of resources online. I’ll give you a list of simple exercises that are proven to help you improve your core strength, which is the vital first step to dropping the weight and toning your body!

 

  • Pelvic Tilt

This exercise is fairly basic and referenced on various lists about getting back into shape after a pregnancy. Just lay flat on the floor with your feet hip-width apart and straighten your arms out at your sides. Align your spine with the floor and make sure it’s straight, then inhale and exhale as you raise your hips up off the ground. Tilt your pelvis and squeeze your abs, then hold for a couple breaths before lowering back to the ground. Do 10 reps.

 

  • Plank

There are nearly endless variations on the plank, but the two classic ones you should use are the ball plank and a side plank. For the ball plank, assume a typical plank position, but rest your arms on top of an exercise ball. Hold the position for at least 30 seconds, repeat 5 times. For the side plank, lay on your side and place your forearm underneath your shoulder to support your body. Straighten the rest of your body, stack your feet, and stabilize your core. Hold for at least 30 seconds and then switch to the other side. You can add leg lifts if you feel comfortable.

 

  • Plank Vinyasa

 

This exercise is a yoga pose which puts an interesting twist on the typical plank. Get into the normal plank position, lowering onto your forearms if necessary. Once your body is straight, inhale, then exhale as you pull a leg into your chest area while contracting your abdominal muscles. Return to typical plank position and then switch legs. Alternate for 10 to 20 reps, whatever you feel most comfortable doing.

 

  • Alternating Twist

To do this exercise, lie on your back with your feet flat on the floor. Interlace your fingers behind your head, but make sure not to strain your neck. Inhale, and as you exhale contract your abs and lift your head off of the floor. Move your right elbow toward your left knee as you pull your knee toward you. Hold for a couple of breaths, then return to your starting position. Do the same on the opposite side and continue alternating knees until you reach a rep of 10.