Walking sounds like a normal chore to most people, but more are becoming aware of the benefits you could reap by that simple everyday movement. So much so, that many people are now counting their daily steps. This has been made easier through technology that saw the popularity rising, especially amongst city dwellers. You must have heard of the Fitbit or have seen the fitness tracker in your phone’s Health App. Young or old, everyone could benefit from walking greatly.
Counting steps have often associated itself with the number 10,000, but is 10,000 steps per day really appropriate for you? It all depends on your current fitness level, mobility and fitness goals. The average Singaporean walks 5,674 steps per day, which is 674 steps more than the global average, but you should use your own average daily steps as your baseline to set a new goal for the number of steps you want to achieve. It is advised to increase your amount of regular activity overtime. If walking is your exercise, add 1000 steps to your daily routine every 2 weeks, to really set a dent in your goals.
Benefits of Walking
Walking is the simplest form of exercise. It is free, and can be done anywhere, making it easy to fit many different lifestyles even the busiest. You carry your own body weight when you walk. This is known as weight-bearing exercise. Some of the benefits include:
- increased cardiovascular and pulmonary (heart and lung) fitness
- reduced risk of heart disease and stroke
- improved management of conditions such as hypertension (high blood pressure), high cholesterol, joint and muscular pain or stiffness, and diabetes
- stronger bones and improved balance
- increased muscle strength and endurance
- reduced body fat
To make walking fun, use headphone and find the perfect music to listen to. If you enjoy slow paced walks, listen to calming songs, and if you’re up for a brisk walk, a song with a catchy tempo would give you the pump. You will find that, it is a much more pleasant experience to walk to the beat. Or you could just go for a stroll with a friend and have a friendly catch up! Make sure you are wearing good walking shoes for the occasion. It is important to have a good sole support to distribute your body weight evenly. This would prevent any possible posture problems in the future.