A hobby is something you enjoy doing for recreational purposes. If it’s a hobby you enjoy that can lead to better health, you’re doubly blessed. As for me, my favorite recreational activity is walking. Sounds simple doesn’t it? So simple that many people don’t take the time to really appreciate all the benefits of walking.
Aside from the physical health benefits of walking, you’ll find an emotional “lift” when you open yourself up to the beauty of the outdoors. Just stroll through your neighborhood. Not only will you meet some friendly people, you’ll learn to appreciate the beauty of nature. Check out the different kinds of trees, plants, and flowers (it’s better than going to the local nursery). You’ll get some good ideas to beautify your own front lawn.
First of all, and most importantly, you’ll need a good pair of walking shoes. Once you’ve taken this first step, there’s no stopping you.
Music goes great with walking. Upbeat tunes will keep you moving along at a good pace. Or, you may prefer listening to a tape of your favorite book. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how far you’ve traveled when you’re enjoying yourself.
And don’t be surprised to find that your daily walks are addictive. Once you get started, you might find your interest leads to hiking, walking tours, and marathons.
A few sites that may give inspiration to a new outlook on walking would include:
- The Walking Site – motivational stories to get you started.
- Or you might try The Walking Connection – fitness walking, hikes and hiking, what gear to wear.
- For the senior citizens, a trusted web site would be AARP Fitness Walking
- Walking For Charity – How does a Charity Walk Work?
More Walking Tips To Get You Started On The Right Track
- If you’re fortunate enough to live near the ocean or a lake with a sandy beach, consider doing your walking there. For those of you with foot, knee, or back problems, you’ll find walking on the sand much easier on the joints as compared to the hard pavement. The soothing atmosphere of the water will also give you an emotional lift and help bring down your blood pressure. Summertime brings all the families with small children to these areas and can also add to the pleasure of your exercise routine as you watch and enjoy the little ones romping in the water.
- Start with good fitting walking shoes and always do some stretching before your walk. Loose fitting, comfortable clothes are a must. For evening walking, wear light colored clothes and carry a flashlight. Build up your endurance by walking a little farther each day.
- Visit your local sporting goods store and invest in a pedometer. See how close you come to the recommended 10,000 steps a day. You may be surprised (pleasantly or unpleasantly) to find out how close you come to this number. And, remember, all steps count from the minute you hop out of bed in the morning – not just the steps you take during your daily walk. Challenge yourself to increase your steps each day until you reach your goal.
- Make sure you’re well hydrated, bring along water, particularly on longer outings.
- Walk with a neighbor, walk the dog, or form a walking group to help keep you motivated.