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Walking Can Change Your Life? Feel Renewed In Your Skin Today

It’s no secret that going to the gym can be tough. Whether you choose to wake up bright and early to get your day started off with a pump or end your day looking to give it your all after a long day at work, going to the gym is easier said than done. But, what if I told you there was an easier way to get in your daily dose of exercise? The mundane task of walking is so much more powerful than you thought with its numerous benefits, mood-enhancing power, and the ability to make you feel renewed in your own skin. Today, we’ll be going over the ways that walking can benefit your muscles, joints, immune system, mood, sleep, and confidence! What’s In It For Me?
Let’s start off with your body. Whenever someone thinks about their health and body goals, the image of the gym instantly comes to mind. But, as we all know, sometimes the thought of going to the gym can bring dread or thoughts of other fun things you’d rather be doing. Well, an underrated and absolutely overlooked way to meet your health and body goals is through something we all do every day. Walking!
Here’s a list of the benefits we’ll be talking about:
  • Promotes a healthy weight
  • Helps lose body fat
  • Tones your body
  • Curbs your cravings
  • Improves your immune system
  • Improves your sleep
  • Enhances your mood
For those that are focused on losing weight and getting a more toned body, walking is one of the easiest ways to maintain a healthy weight and lose body fat. What you probably didn’t know is that walking counteracts the effects of weight-gaining genes. Harvard researchers discovered that walking for about an hour a day at a brisk pace can effectively cut the effect of obesity-promoting genes in half. Furthermore, going outside for a brisk walk for 30 minutes can burn up to 200 calories all while simultaneously toning your legs and abdominal muscles.
Have a sweet tooth?

An unknown secret benefit of walking is that it’ll help you tame that pesky sweet tooth of yours. Studies from the University of Exeter found that going for a 15-minute walk can effectively curb your cravings and even reduce the number of sugary snacks that you eat in stressful situations. So many times we catch ourselves craving a snack or trying to cope with daily stress by sneaking in a treat. Next time that happens, try going for a walk!

For the readers that have been through the works and now experience joint pains, walking might just be able to alleviate your discomfort. It may seem counterintuitive to some, but several studies have found that going for a walk can protect your joints, especially your knees and hips, by lubricating and strengthening the muscles that support them. An important note to keep in mind is to wear the correct footwear while walking. Walking in shoes with poor arch support such as flats will do more damage than good, so if you don’t have a comfortable pair of shoes, go out and get some to get you started!
Cough cough. Flu season is on the way for those in the northern hemisphere as autumn and winter are closing in fast. Did you know that going for a walk for just 20 minutes a day can improve your immune system? With cold and flu season around the corner, go out for a walk for just 20 minutes a day and for at least 5 days a week. Researchers have found that those who do this take 43% fewer sick days than those who exercise only once a week or less! If you do still happen to get sick, you’ll be sick for a much shorter duration and with much milder symptoms.
Ever catch yourself looking at the ceiling and not being able to fall asleep? If you’re having trouble sleeping at night, walking has been found to help relieve insomnia. Nothing is worse than laying in bed and not being able to sleep. It makes you frustrated, annoyed, and stressed all at the same time; the worst emotions to be feeling while trying to get some beauty sleep. Next time, try going for a walk and seeing how you feel because walking will not only help your insomnia, but it’ll also lighten your mood from those frustrating emotions. When you go out for a walk, your body releases natural pain-killing endorphins and overall increases your mood. By this point, I’m sure you see the benefits of walking. Let’s piece everything together. Who’s That In The Mirror Staring Back At Me? The New You
In summary, walking helps you lose weight, tone your body, curb your cravings, ease joint pains, strengthen your immune system, improve your sleep, and increase your mood. If you can imagine your life in the present, could you squeeze in a quick walk in the morning or evening? Most likely. Now picture this: You, in the future, where you’ve met your target weight, your body is toned, you’re no longer reaching for that chocolate bar when you’re stressed, your body doesn’t ache as much, your sleep is amazing, everyone around you seems to be sick as a dog but you’re somehow still kicking around, and you seem to have endless energy throughout your joy-filled day. I don’t know about you, but to me, that seems like a renewed you! All of these benefits together promote confidence. Confidence in yourself, in your own body, and confidence that translates into other areas of your life. For some, doubt fills their mind and the lack of confidence can hold them back from achieving what they really want. Whether it’s going for that new position, taking on a new hobby, or even achieving happiness, you’ll bring your newfound confidence by shooting for the stars and chasing after what you want and what you know you can achieve.

How Do I Get Started?

It’s easier than you think to get started. The first step is to plan your routine. Get the right shoes for your long walks; shoes with proper arch support, a firm heel, and thick soles with some flexibility to make sure you're protecting your feet and joints. As mentioned before, think twice before going for a walk in flats. We all know too well the uncomfortable feeling of painful feet after a long day with the wrong shoes.
The next step is to choose your walking path. When walking outdoors, we recommend avoiding any paths that have damaged sidewalks with potholes, trees or bushes with low-hanging branches, or any uneven surfaces. We recommend going for a stroll in a park or by water; really surround yourself in nature to feel even more uplifted. Did you know that researchers have discovered that living near blue and green spaces increases an individual's happiness levels? If you live in a colder climate or if the weather isn’t ideal, consider going to your nearest shopping mall to get your daily walk in.
It’s also important to warm up and not jump into your full walking pace. Slowly get your body adjusted to the exercise, and then gradually increase your speed after 5 to 10 minutes. The end is just as important as the start, so make sure to incorporate a cool down where you decrease your walking pace for the last 5 to 10 minutes to help cool your muscles down. We also recommend stretching after the walk to help blood circulation and increase your general flexibility.
For those that want to take walking a step further, we recommend setting goals. That means setting a time duration or setting a distance target. It’s important to keep in mind that the goals you set should be realistic! Creating a realistic goal allows you to actually achieve your targets to promote motivation without killing your motivation by never actually reaching your goal. Once you’ve created your goal, track your progress. You can do this by using your phone and utilizing the health apps that are built into your phone, or you can use apps that you can download. If you’re the type to leave your phone at your desk, consider getting a watch that tracks your steps, duration, and distance. Tracking your progress and seeing how you’re improving creates inspiration and motivation to keep on walking. See if you can beat those targets. You’ll soon come to feel the difference in your energy level and that 20-minute walk will feel like a breeze.
In summary:
  • Plan Your Routine
  • Get Proper Shoes
  • Choose Your Path
  • Set Goals
  • Track Progress

Some final tips for everyone

If you can, invite a friend to walk with you. Conversing with them can make the walk go much faster and it’s always nice to have some company. Use the internet to your advantage and scope out some hiking trails near you to take full advantage of your surrounding areas. Or, if you prefer walking in cities, consider exploring a new city. Walking the same path every day can get boring, so don’t forget to switch up your path, change the scenery, and freshen things up to stay motivated. If nobody is available to go on a walk with you, feel free to use this time to listen to music, listen to a podcast, or enjoy the music of nature. Strap on those shoes and go for a walk!

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