Exercising can be hard. Getting into a routine, building your stamina and finding a workout that suits us: sometimes it’s overwhelming. But there’s one work out that is easy to start and advantageous for exercisers of all levels: walking.
Though it usually takes a back seat to running, walking is a great way to jump-start your workout regimen if you’ve had a lapse in routine, are recovering from an injury or simply want a straightforward, low-impact workout. It’s incredible easy to pick up and comes with an abundance of health benefits.
Walking can help manage weight, tone legs and glutes, lower blood pressure, increase HDL cholesterol levels (the good kind), and decrease the risk of heart attack, stroke, breast cancer and type 2 diabetes. It’s also good for your bones, as it helps prevent osteoporosis and breaks like hip fractures, since it’s not a tough on the joints as running.
Walking has also shown to prevent depression, colon cancer and constipation, as well as lengthen life-spans, lower stress levels, relieve arthritis, improve sleep patterns and elevate overall moods.
With so many benefits both physical and mental, there’s little reason why you should wait to try walking as your new exercise: so start steppin’!
Where to Walk
Walking serves as a great low-impact exercise, suitable for just about anyone looking to burn a few calories or stretch out their legs; but sometimes our neighborhood streets don’t always make for the most scenic routes. Here are some parks in and around Oakland County that do:
Features more than 7.5 miles of hiking trails, stretching from the Beachfront Pavilion to Adam’s Lake, as well as a shorter 2.5 mile paved trail, perfect for biking or walking and multiple equestrian trails. 1480 West Romeo Road, nr. Oxford. 8 a.m. – sunset.
Included in the “50 Hikes in Lower Michigan” travel book, the park has more than 13 miles of hiking trails, a boathouse and observation deck with impressive views, overlooking Crooked Lake. 9501 Sashabaw Road, Clarkston. 7 a.m. – sunset.
Is a 211-acre park with hills meadows and wetlands, including 4.5 miles of hiking trails and a sprawling beachfront. 24915 Farmington Rd., Farmington Hills. Seasonal hours vary.
Features more than 4 miles of winding trails starting at Fish Lake Trailhead and wrapping around wetlands. Some hilly areas provide an added challengers for hikers. 1113 Fish Lake Road, Rose Township. Sunrise – sunset.
Paint Creek Trail
Is an 8.9 mile trail that weaves itself through fields, prairies, woodland and marshlands. It’s perfect for viewing wildlife while you walk; watch for fox, squirrel and the occasional deer. 4393 Collins Road, Rochester. 6 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Though it usually takes a back seat to running, walking is a great way to jump-start your workout regimen if you’ve had a lapse in routine, are recovering from an injury or simply want a straightforward, low-impact workout.
Grab A Friend
If you’re not one for sitting in solitude or being alone with your thoughts, walking even a mile can seem endless. But walking doesn’t have to be monotonous. If you take a friend — human, furry or electronic, walking can seem more like flying.
- Find a friend or coworker with a similar schedule and plan walking dates to catch up on gossip or trade workout tips with. This will give you something to look forward to. Talking will make the time pass by faster and you may even end up walking further than you intended if the gossip is really juicy.
- Take your dog, or if you don’t have one, see if you can borrow your neighbor’s for your next walk. This will give provide you with responsibility to someone other than yourself, so if you feel like making it a shorter walk, keeping in mind that the dog needs exercise too will make you stay the course. Having a dog with you will also help set the pace of the walk, keeping it steady.
- If a friend, furry or otherwise, isn’t available, grab your ipod. Make an upbeat playlist with your favorite songs and try to make it as long as you want to walk for, that way you will want to finish the entire walk so you can listen to your favorite tunes.
Â© Copyright 2011 Â Allison Stuart Kaplan Â www.Askinyourface.com LLC