April 22, 2020
That’s right! During this time of social distancing, we are still encouraged to go outdoors and exercise. Earth Day isn’t the only reason we should tie up our tennis shoes. Feelings of stress and depression may be all too familiar to us all these days, but according to the CDC– regular exercise can help you and your family cope with anxiety and stress. There are a lot of other health benefits to walking regularly as well.
Some suggestions to build walking into your daily routine include:
- Take the stairs instead of elevators (for at least part of the way).
- Walk to and from work
- Walk or bike (don’t drive) to run errands
- Walk the dog (or your neighbor’s dog)
- Make it fun for everyone- check out these websites for engaging children in walking activities. Playdough on a tree? Absolutely!
Walking for 30 minutes a day
To get the health benefits, try to walk for at least 30 minutes as briskly as you can on most days of the week. ‘Brisk’ means that you can still talk but not sing, and you may be puffing slightly. Moderate activities such as walking pose little health risk, but if you have a medical condition, check with your doctor before starting any new exercise program of physical activity. Regular brisk walking can help you:
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Prevent or manage various conditions, including heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes
- Strengthen your bones and muscles
- Improve your mood
- Improve your balance and coordination
Building physical activity into your life
If it’s too difficult to walk for 30 minutes at one time, do regular small bouts (10 minutes) three times per day and gradually build up to longer sessions. However, if your goal is to lose weight, you will need to do physical activity for longer than 30 minutes each day. Physical activity built into a daily lifestyle plan is also one of the most effective ways to assist with weight loss and keep weight off once it’s lost.
So on this Earth Day, in the spirit of keeping things simple and meaningful, step outside. Help you and your family stay healthy while exploring and discovering your next walking path.