7 Easy Ways to Get Even More Out of Your Walks
Walking remains the most popular fitness activity in this country for good reason: Not only is it accessible, but you also reap a laundry list of rewards by doing it. "Walking improves your psychological and physical health," says Patricia Friberg, MPS, a nationally board-certified health and wellness coach in Los Angeles.
For starters, walking is a low-impact activity, which means it will create less stress and strain on your joints, says Samantha Parker, MS, a certified yoga therapist and kinesiophobia and cognitive movement specialist in Washington, D.C. In terms of health, walking can help you lose weight and prevent a wide array of chronic issues, including heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancers, Friberg says. It can also increase your mood—even more so if you walk outside—and decrease symptoms of anxiety, depression, and stress. After walking, you might also find that you're more creative, focused, and productive. And if you're walking outside, you may even have a stronger connection with your community, or at the very least, your neighborhood, she adds.
Most studies show that the health benefits from walking are attained by taking a brisk walk, essentially to the point where your breathing becomes stronger and you start working up a bit of a sweat. That means picking up the pace, of course—but that's not the only way to get more from those walks.
Below, fitness experts offer simple strategies for not only making those walks more fun, but also for engaging your mind and body even more for greater benefits.
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