We all know how busy life seems to be. And with the busy lifestyles of today, many adults can’t afford to take the time necessary to go the health club or neighborhood gym on a regular basis. Even if it’s within a short distance, we’re generally talking about two to three hours commitment per week. You may find yourself asking, “Who has time for that?”
Still, it’s well known that exercise is just downright good for you. If you name any random 10 medical conditions and diseases, I’m willing to bet that some form of frequent exercise is a good treatment or preventative measure for at least 9 of them. Diet and exercise pop up as treatments and preventative measures in so many of the diseases that ail us today, and both of these areas are good places to focus on if your concerned about your health. Even just some simple walking for exercise can go a long way to improving your health. Walking for exercise is fun, easy, and is a great stress reducer but more on that in a minute.
Another idea is that of home workouts with or without gym equipment. Now we’re not talking about enough equipment to fill up the basement or several bedrooms. What you want is something that you enjoy that can be done in the privacy of your home whenever you desire. My son, who’s working on his muscle tone has a resistance weight training program with just a few pieces of equipment. The ex-wife likes the aerobic action of a small trampoline and treadmill. The idea of home gym equipment doesn’t have to be costly or forbidding, just something that will save hours and allow you the exercise program that you desire right from your own home. And if you use body weight exercises, you can eliminate equipment pretty much altogether, more on that later in the article!
Simply walking is a great workout!
The great thing about walking for exercise is that you can do it anywhere. You have absolutely no excuse for not getting up and walking around for at least 30 minutes a day. So it’s raining out? Take an umbrella! Seriously, just get out for a short walk around the block a couple times and you’ll thank yourself for it later. Even better, walk an hour a day and gradually work up your distance. I routinely walk four miles daily. If its absolutely miserable out, just walking around your house or apartment a while or climbing up and down the stairs is better than nothing at all.
Walking for exercise is extremely low impact, and so just about anyone of any age can do it safely and frequently without worrying about damaging themselves. Running and other more strenuous forms of exercise can cause all kinds of joint pain and soreness, and isn’t recommended unless you are in otherwise good shape.
A lot of recent studies into different forms of exercise are showing that walking is every bit as good for you as running or other more vigorous exercises, you just need to do it longer. If you are walking for exercise, go for at least 30 minutes or even an hour.
Also, there are hiking and walking clubs all over the place to join if you need the added social aspect or accountability. Not only can walking for exercise be a way to maintain good health, but it can be a good way to meet new people and form new networks. If you keep your walks outdoors, you’ll find it almost meditative and it makes you feel more connected to the world around you and how it changes with the seasons.
Its only drawback is that it takes time to do, but it is time well spent.
During a period of time that I worked a radical amount of hours every week, I found myself getting considerably out of shape. My approach was to begin daily stretching, then I introduced walking, gradually increasing the time and distance. Once I had that fairly well mastered (no more shin splints, panting or soreness…yes, I’d gotten out of shape!), I progressed on to simple body weight exercises, and when they too became simple, I added some weights. Now it’s become such a habit I can’t imagine not doing it. The same could be true for you.