When we think of exercise, we often think of gym memberships, but overlook the easiest exercise that anybody can do. We’re talking about — you guessed it — walking!
Many of us get tunnel vision with our fitness routine. If we’re not sweating like crazy, gasping for air, and feeling one rep away from muscle failure, then we haven’t really worked out, but that’s not a healthy or even accurate picture of fitness. Lower-impact, less strenuous exercise is just as important as the higher intensity stuff, and one type of exercise in particular has been shown to be crazy-good for you.
We’re talking about (you guessed it!) WALKING.
The Benefits of Walking
First, let’s chat about the perks of walking so you understand why it’s so good for your health. Harvard released a special report stating that walking is your best defense against disease and health conditions. For instance, walking for 2.5 hours a week decreases your chance of developing heart disease by 30%!
Here are some other scientifically proven benefits of walking:
- Improves Memory: Countless studies indicate there is a correlation between walking and preventing cognitive decline.
Stress Buster: For many of us, there is nothing more relaxing than going for a walk to clear your mind. In fact, taking a walk in nature or ecotherapy is a medically supported way to reduce mood disorders, stress and anxiety. If you find you’re in a rut, hit the trails, recharge in nature, and get back to what’s important.
- Better Sleep: Walking an hour a day can help you sleep better, as found in a recent study on women 50-75.
Bonding Time: Walking with a partner, friends and kids can help strengthen bonds. One such way is its device-free time where you can talk openly and enjoy one another’s company. Additionally, the organic conversations that emerge tend to be casual topics, leaving more room for fun and bonding time.
Stronger Joints: Walking is excellent protection for your joints as it strengthens and lubricates the muscles that support the joints. Walking 5-6 miles weekly may even help those living with arthritis pain.
Immunity Booster: Rev up your metabolism by walking daily, especially during cold and flu season, as one study found that walking 30-45 minutes a day lessened your chances of getting sick.
Energy Enhancer: Forget caffeine; walking stimulates blood flow and increases hormones for a natural energy boost.
- It’s Free, Safe, and for Everyone: One of the most compelling reasons to get out walking is it’s not only free, but it’s also safe and suitable for everyone no matter their fitness level.
Turn Walking into More of a Workout!
At this point, you may be wondering how you can morph walking into even more of a workout: just snap on our BodyRock Weighted Vest! In the same way, most BodyRocker’s start by strengthening their muscles via bodyweight exercises and as their fitness level progresses they add resistance, you can apply the same concept to walking — start with bodyweight and as you progress, add weight!
Depending on your current fitness level, you can kick up the effectiveness of your walk by:
Beginners: If you’re new to your fitness journey, stick with beginner series like our Start Strong Series and dedicate time for walks. These could be jaunty short walks or slower long walks.
Intermediate: If you've leveled up, mix in walking but strap on a weighted vest for added resistance.
- Advanced: For our advanced BodyRockers, your body is accustomed to weights so, you have the opportunity to up the weight vest or get creative and kick up your tempo for greater cardio endurance.
Here’s the thing about weighted vests: they don’t stress out your joints and add incredible core training to any workout.
The benefits of wearing a weighted vest, like our BodyRock Weighted Vests include:
- Less joint strain
- Cardio benefits
- Improves endurance
- Better strength
- Stronger bones
- Improves your core
Why You Should Add Walking to Your Weekly Workouts
If fitness experts can agree that walking is the best exercise for you, then if you aren’t already, it’s time to start including walking in your weekly fitness routine! Walking can be done on a day off or during an active recovery day, or give it, its own day — the key is figuring out what works for you! If you want to try turning walking into a more of a workout, then don’t forget to clip on your BodyRock Weighted Vest and hit the trails for some heart-pumpin’ action!