In a world of Instagram Fit-spiration, the humble walk can often be overlooked as a serious contender in the exercise world. Walking is an excellent exercise for the days you don’t train at the gym or when you may be experiencing muscle soreness. And by including a hill or two, you will also be able to include a low impact cardio component to your walking work out.
Here are my 7 reasons that walking is a winner:
- It’s cheap!
Walking requires no special equipment apart from a half decent pair of runners and some comfortable clothes.
- You can easily fit your walk into your day
With stores like Lorna Jane making active wear socially acceptable all-day attire, you can even dress for your walk as soon as you wake up! You also don’t have to take a big long walk, you can break it into smaller and manageable chunks. Wearing a Fit Bit is a great idea, so that you can clock up all your incidental movement.
Try and aim for 30 mins each day or 10,000 steps.
2. It is a great way to socialise
Community walking groups meet regularly and often have little or no cost involved. They are a great way to meet other people and socialise. Try it with friends… suggest a walk together and then coffee.
The Heart Foundation has a directory of established walking groups and also has virtual walker capabilities.
One of my favourite walking groups is The Happiness Hunter – these are filled with lots of small business folk, so we get to toss ideas around and networ
3. You don’t need childcare
Including your children into your exercise regime has many benefits, including showing our children that exercise is a part of life. And it can be fun too, especially when they are old enough to scooter or ride a trike, which makes them a little faste
4. Excellent for your mental health
There is nothing like a breath of fresh air to lift your mood. Research has shown strong links between regular exercise and avoiding or improving postnatal depression. Walking can also improve stress and anxiet
5. Safe for your pelvic floor
Being low impact, walking can be excellent option while your body is repairing from birth. However, if you are leaking while you are walking, please don’t ignore it. You can experience incontinence both when your pelvic floor is weak or is too tight! So if you are doing your pelvic floor exercises and things are not improving, see a Women’s Health Physiotherapist for a full assessment
6.Swing your arms for better core activation
That’s right! You can make walking a “core” exercise just by encouraging your upper body, shoulders and arms to rotate. Try pointing your index finger to your opposite big toe, but feel the full rotational movement through your upper back. If you have been holding your baby/breastfeeding or even sitting at a desk for a long period of time this might feel tight and immobile. Persevere. Your back will thank you for it.
By changing your location, walking will never be dull or boring. Even if you tend to walk in the same park or walk way, find variations to your route – this has positive repercussions on our brain as well as your body.
Walk tall and reap the benefits!
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