new years resolutions fitness tips 11

Regardless of your fitness level, walking is one of the easiest thing you can do anywhere, anytime for better health. While it’s not exactly the best method of cardio exercise for improving your fitness level, walking has a myriad of wellness benefits to help you have an overall healthier year (and life!)

I didn’t previously walk much until about the last year. I prefer to get in the gym and squat heavy, do box jumps, burpees, and then do sprints for cardio. I like to move, push myself, and sweat…to earn my post-workout meal. My heart rate monitor I constantly wear let’s me know very clearly that a stair stepper, elliptical, or running is how I’m burning the most calories, which is usually the goal. During my work day, I tend to get so focused on work that I’m not thinking about taking breaks, aside from filling up my water bottle and going to the bathroom. So walking has never been much of a thought for me, until recently when my body hasn’t handled sprints and intense exercise very well (yup, I’m getting old!) I started to walk more to give my joints a break while still getting exercise. When I got my latest Polar fitness tracker, it also motivated me to walk more because I could now see how many steps a day I was getting and wanted to hit that 10,000 mark.
woman walking down dirt road renewal fitness coaching
In that time, I’ve realized how great – and even important – walking is. I guess the aches and pains as you get older become a good teacher 🙂 Whether they’re 15 minutes or a full hour, walks are incredibly beneficial for some of these reasons:
  • Balancing hormones
  • Reducing stress
  • Improving blood flow
  • Reducing and relieving tight muscles
  • Mental clarity and focus
  • Creativity
  • Giving your eyes a break from looking at screens
  • Getting in 10,000 steps per day
  • Reduced weight and heart disease
  • Reduced inflammation
  • Decreased insulin response post-meal
  • Increased energy

These walks don’t need to be strenuous, and in fact, shouldn’t be. Let them be casual! Intense exercise can increase cortisol in your body, which is a hormone that can increase weight. Your body needs breaks and time to rest from other workouts. But rest doesn’t mean you need to just sit on the couch. That’s why walking is great – you can get some movement and activity on rest days (aka: active rest) without taxing your body. One note is that if you are not currently doing other workouts, these types of walks are not enough to help you lose significant weight or drastically increase your fitness level.

Incorporate walks into your every day activity. 15 minutes at work, an hour on the weekend. Even a 10-15 minute walk immediately after meals will help to decrease the insulin response from food to help prevent fat storage. It’s also great for digestion. A quick walk during the day can also help to boost energy. Next time you want to reach for that afternoon cup of coffee or green tea, go for a walk instead and then see if you still need that caffeine (which will reduce your sleep quality!)

I’m not sure there’s anything easier I could tell you to do that walking to keep joints feeling good, inflammation down, and keep blood flowing when you need a rest from the gym. Share comments below about your favorite place to take walks and what benefits you notice!

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OWNER & FOUNDER, RENEWAL FITNESS COACHING I am passionate about empowering YOU with a renewed sense of strength and self-confidence by teaching safe, accurate fitness and nutrition methods from a holistic approach to reach your goals. With extremely personalized programs for each unique person, I also incorporate the spiritual and emotional aspects of life every chance I get in order to address the deep struggles that are often overlooked and prevent lasting success.

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