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How to walk your way to better health

Posted in Fitness Tips on September 18, 2013.  Last modified on January 02, 2024. Read Disclaimer.

walking for better healthHippocrates said "Walking is man's best medicine," and of course, it applies to women, too.

Want to feel good, get fit, help reduce disease and even live longer? The answer may be just steps away!

Recent research from the University of Toronto bears this out. Mike Evans, M.D., a staff physician at St. Michael's Hospital and an associate professor at Toronto University, wanted to find the single most effective way to do all this: reduce high blood pressure, lessen the effects of diabetes, decrease depression, ease arthritis, reduce the risk of stroke and the progression of Alzheimer's disease, address obesity and much more. His answer? Thirty minutes of walking per day (yes, other activities count, too). Dr. Evans concluded that it is the most accessible activity that can actually help you to live longer. He also found that social groups that develop around walking are a huge social bonding bonus for all.

Tired of walking alone? Join a walking club or start your own!

If you want to join or start a walking club, check with the American Volkssport Association. The advantage of visiting their web site is that they have done all the work and offer guidelines and rules for hosting walking events or simply joining a group in our area.

Local malls, health maintenance organizations, health clubs and local running shoe stores will have information about walking groups you can join, too. Or, you can start your own walking club.

Expanding a healthy fitness activity like walking to include friends and family is a win/win for everyone. The camaraderie keeps you going on days when you want to stay in bed.

The fun of starting your own club

You could name your club and decide to have different kinds of walks and activities like these:

  • Evening walks.
  • Tougher terrain walks.
  • Early morning walks with breakfast afterward.
  • Invite a fitness speaker to a group walk event to nutrition tips.
  • Create incentives for your members, like prizes for the most miles walked in a month.
  • Celebrate walking milestones of your members with awards or parties.
  • Make business cards for your club so you can hand them out while out on a walk.
  • Use social media to get the word out about your club.

Get your shoes on. Let's go!

Source: VitaJournal, Sept. 2013. Linda Hertzberg is a fitness director and trainer in Scottsdale, AZ. She holds a bachelor's degree in biology, and is certified in several fitness disciplines by ACE (American Council on Exercise), as well as being a Certified Pilates Trainer.

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Our moderators are not doctors and can not provide medical advice.