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THE BENEFITS OF WALKING

March 13, 2017

Melissa Araujo

WEARING: Nike Sweater, Leggings + Sneakers & TNA Cap. I used to be a very active person, but I got side tracked and have been living a pretty sedentary life. The gym is not for me and I am too busy to enrol and commit to a team sport. I decided the best solution to my dilemma was just a walk away - literally. Walking has all kinds of benefits: from weight loss and de-stressing, to lowering your blood pressure and reducing your risk of many diseases. Going for regular walks is one of the best and easiest things you can do for your health. 1. Mood Improvement:You know how sometimes it takes a glass of wine or three to take the edge of a rough day? Well, going for a walk is another strategy with the same benefits. Research shows that regular walking actually modifies your nervous system so much, that you'll experience a decrease in anger and hostility. I mean you don't have to fully give up on the wine, but you don't need to depend on it to relax either. 2. Increase of Creativity: Whether you're feeling down at work or you've been searching for a solution to a problem, it's good idea to get moving. Going for a walk can spark creativity and give you the energy to accomplish your new ideas. 3. Your pants will get a little looser: As you continue to walk, you may notice your pants begin to fit more loosely around your midsection, even if the number on the scale hasn't changed. Daily walking increases metabolism by burning extra calories and by preventing muscle loss, which is important as we get older. 4. Efficient Body Function: Walking helps to push blood back up to the heart and lungs, strengthens the circulatory system, and boosts healthy blood flow. 5. Reachable Goals: When you become a regular walker, you will have established a regular routine and when you have one, you are more likely to continue with the activity and take on new healthy behaviours. 6. Time to Think: When we walk, we think; and because walking is a low-difficulty endeavour we can direct our energy to solving problems, coming up with ideas, plans, and just daydream. 7. Chance to Meditate: Meditation is a hard concept for many; we know about it, but we don’t know it. Even when we want to try it, having read about the benefits, most of us can’t sit still for: ten, twenty, thirty minutes at a time. Enter walking meditation, let your mind tune out from all your thoughts and be calm. I have taken up walking as my form of exercise, and really started this year in January; I walk 3-4 days a week - at least an hour each time. I got a treadmill as a Christmas gift, so if it is raining or too cold, I still can do it; if it's nice out I can be outside and get some fresh air. I have seen a lot of improvement in my mood, I am sleeping a bit better and I am hoping to learn to meditate while I walk. I have a really hard time sitting or staying still for too long, and of course like most fashion girls I also want the jeans to get a lil looser ;) Walking is so simple, we know it has health benefits. So why not just do it? I recommend it! As you start your walking routine, remember to: Get the right gear. Choose shoes with proper arch support, a firm heel and thick flexible soles to cushion your feet and absorb shock. Wear comfortable clothes and gear, appropriate for various types of weather. If you walk outdoors when it's dark, wear bright colors or reflective tape for visibility. Choose your course carefully. If you'll be walking outdoors, avoid paths with cracked sidewalks, potholes, low-hanging limbs or uneven turf. Warm up. Walk slowly for five to 10 minutes to warm up your muscles and prepare your body for exercise. Cool down. At the end of your walk, walk slowly for five to 10 minutes to help your muscles cool down. Stretch. After you cool down, gently stretch your muscles. Let me know in the comments below what you do to keep active and if you are a fellow walker!Photos by Jeff Nicholls