Every time I attend a health fair, like the one at Western Michigan University last week, I seem to learn something new about building a healthy lifestyle. While learning tips on healthy living is great, but what is even greater for me is learning about others who are not only learning them, but they are using these tips!
There were a few times I had to control my emotions that day because some individuals explained that they walk because they remember my story about how walking changed my life. This motivates them to get outside and exercise, no excuses allowed!
At this particular event, I heard from a lovely doctor who often shares my walking story with patients who have set a goal to lose weight. Like I’ve said before, “Reduce your size and WALKercise!”
I loved hearing her explain that she shares my story and it helps others. That is exactly why I do what I do. She said, “Jodi, not many people would just come out and say that they weighed 300 pounds along with sharing all the details about the emotional and physical pain that went along with being morbidly obese. I’m sure it was difficult for you, but always remember that your story is motivating and helps save lives.”
In that spirit, here are some of my walking tips. It is a wonderful time to get into the habit of walking daily now before the big Thanksgiving feast is consumed. Keep in mind that if you want to “reduce your size” I can tell you from personal experience that 22 minutes of daily WALKercise will do the trick!
10 Tips to Maximize the Heath Benefits of Walking
- Keep a brisk pace and don’t slow down until walk is complete. From the moment I take that first step to the time I return home, I keep that same pace. Stay focused, this is now your daily exercise regimen.
- Find fun walking routes. Select areas that are enjoyable and safe, maybe a local beach, nature preserve or state park. I find myself taking a longer walk than expected at these places because of the scenery.
- Enjoy your walking! Hold your head high and keep a positive attitude as you remind yourself that you’re becoming healthier with each step you take! Life is good & walking can make it even better!
- Wear comfortable athletic attire. I feel more like an athlete and tend to walk slightly faster when I wear compression or tight-fitting apparel such as walking pants. Compression apparel actually improves your circulation and provides heightened agility.
- Walk at a time of day that works for you, don’t focus on what works for others. Whichever time of day works for YOU is when you should walk: early morning, during lunch hour, before/after dinner.
- Find a walking partner. The time passes much quicker when I walk along with a family member, friend, or neighbor. I also enjoy walking with my dogs because they keep my pace up and it’s good for their health too.
- Allow your stress to be left behind with every step you take. Make it your goal to relieve any stress that the day has brought with it and walk it off! If you need to walk more intensely or a little faster to get it done, that is okay… DO IT!
- Make it a goal to walk a little faster each day, especially when approaching challenging hills. This is a way to keep that heart rate up and it feels great once you conquer each hill.
- Think of your daily walk as your own personal reward that you owe to yourself. No one is going to take that time away from you… no one! Your personal good health is something that you deserve – you’re the only one that can give it to you. You have one life to live and you deserve to be healthy and happy.
- No excuses! There are no excuses NOT to walk! If it’s raining, use an umbrella. If it’s cold outdoors, bundle up in warmer clothing. Look at it this way- if someone told you that there was a winning lottery ticket at the end of your walking route, you’d be creative and make sure to walk there NO MATTER WHAT, right? Better health is that ticket … WALK and you will WIN!
How many times will you be walking this week?
Photo credit: Jodi Davis