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Why walk?

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Exercise doesn't need to be complicated; walking is the most primal human movement. Today is National Walking Day and fitness specialist Neal Smith at Folsom Fitness Center shares benefits of walking including:

  • Improves circulation
  • Strengthens heart function
  • Lowers stress
  • Improves immunity
  • Supports joint health and reduces risk of osteoporosis
  • Improves sleep
  • Makes you happier by releasing feel good hormones
  • Healthy sun exposure
  • Creates a smooth transition into other forms of exercise

A general rule of thumb is to aim for at least 30 minutes of daily exercise or accumulating 150 minutes per week. However, if it's been awhile since you've followed a consistent exercise routine, or if you are limited for time breaking your walks into 10-minute segments works well too.

Track your progress

Keep track of how far you walk and how long it takes you, and you'll soon notice that you'll be able to walk further and faster. It can serve as an inspiration to notice how far you've walked in a given week, month, year and propel you forward so you continue the habit. Various fitness devices such make it easy to track.

Stick with it

  • Set attainable goals.Start with simple goals like walking ten minutes during lunch and once you've consistently followed that new habit, start adding and creating slightly harder goals.
  • Make walking enjoyable.If you find walking by yourself boring, get family or friends to join. You'll be helping others get healthier too!
  • Change routine periodically.If you walk outdoors plan several different routes for variety. Walk in safe, well-lit locations.
  • Avoid the all-or-nothing mindset.If you skip one walk, remind yourself how good and accomplished you feel when you walk and try to get back on it the next day.

Lace up your shoes this Wednesday for National Walking Day! Methodist employees will be walking the Methodist Mile at each campus. Share your photos of your walk on our Facebook pages.