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June 13, 2008

No Time For A Gym Workout? Walk A Little

Finding the time to go to a gym and workout can be tough. I personally hate gyms and have no patience for them. Of course that does not mean that I can afford to skip my workouts. I have some equipment at home and make sure that I get something in everyday but occasionally those workouts are short. When I am crunched for time I make sure that I get in a nice, brisk walk.

Walking is a great way to get yourself into shape. You can strap on two or three pound hand weight to increase the calories burn if you are looking for faster results. However, if you are just getting into the process of working out you could get going with nothing but your walking shoes.

Shoes are key when it comes to walking. If you decide that taking a stroll on your lunch break is idea, you should make sure that you take a good pair of walking shoes with you. The wrong shoes will stall your walking routine faster than anything else. If your feet are in pain, you won’t be eager to get out there again. So do yourself a favor and spring for a good pair of walking shoes. Be sure that they are walking, not running shoes.

Having a walking partner is a good idea. It can be nice to have someone go through the motion with you. However, be careful of the walking partner that is more interested in chatting about their new beau than actually walking. You want to keep up a decent pace so that the walking counts as exercise. Increase intensity as the weeks pass by. Some walks should be brisk enough that it is difficult to carry on a conversation. Others can be easier strolls but remember, you are exercising.

Find a nice area to walk in. Many people find their neighborhoods pleasant to stroll around. However, if you live in an apartment or somewhere a little less picturesque, find a nature reserve or park that you like. Take your I-pod and get lost in the scenery. Keeping your mind stimulated while you walk with either nice things to look at or something to listen to can help pass the time.

Incorporate walking into your everyday activities. Whenever you can, walk instead of taking the elevator and don’t wait for the car in the first parking spot to pull out. Park at the back of the lot and walk. Don’t e-mail your colleague who is on the opposite side of the office building. Walk the memo over to their cubicle and say hi in person.

Don’t let crowded sweaty gyms or expensive home gyms be an excuse for you not getting in your workouts. Walking is free and there is no good excuse for not getting walks in. Other exercises may require money and effort but walking does not. Get in thirty minutes a day and you will reap a plethora of health benefits, which include sleeping better and lowing your risk of certain heart diseases.

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