The Many Benefits of Walking

Getting fit does not have to be that complicated. In fact, walking is one of the fastest and easiest ways to burn calories. It doesn’t require equipment and you can do it anywhere. It also makes an impact on your health, says certified trainer Ann Marie Wakula. 

“Walking is an enjoyable, non-stressful way of burning calories,” said Wakula. “I always tell my clients, you don’t need to do a high-intensity class, you don’t need to do hours on the treadmill in order to make an impact on your fitness.” 

Wakula is the host of the Fitness Over 40 series, brought to you by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. The three-minute videos feature tips and mini workouts people can incorporate into their daily lives, even at home.  

Erin Millerschin credits regular walking for helping her shed 40 pounds. She walks five times a week, between 2-4 miles each time. Along with her near-daily walks, she’s made gradual changes in her diet such as incorporating more healthy foods and controlling portion sizes. Setting goals was also a major motivator. 

“I would say that if I can do it, probably anybody can do it. Seeing a friend of mine succeed was key, and her supporting me doing it helped,” said Millerschin. “I started walking, and set a goal for four months out. When I reached that goal, I set another goal for another four months out.” 

In addition to weight loss, Wakula says walking can help lower blood pressure, improve your mood and strengthen your bones.  

“Start by adding a few blocks a week and build from there. Invite some friends and start a walking group to help keep each other accountable,” Wakula said.  

Look for future Fitness Over 40 videos at AHealthierMichigan.org 

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