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Walk for a Great Workout!

By Donna Stark

I’m pretty sure that there are plenty of parents who get a certain sense of enjoyment during the times that their child can’t keep up with them physically. I had one of those moments when I asked my athletic, teenage daughter to go for a walk with me the other night. I believe we made it to the quarter-mile mark when she exclaimed, “I thought we were going for a nice walk!” and then proceeded to bend over, panting, and trying to catch her breath. I wish I could say that she was being a little over-dramatic, but truth be told, she had no idea that walking could be such a good workout.

Walking for Great Health

We’ve all heard that walking can be just as effective as running for cardiovascular health, but that doesn’t mean they expend the same energy at the same rate. It makes sense then, that to get the same benefits you would from running for 30 minutes, you would need to walk for a longer amount of time. But what if you don’t have a teenager tagging along with you every time you head out? How can you add more enjoyment to your daily walks? Here are a few tips.

  • Choose scenery - Studies have shown that the more scenic your walks are, the more you'll want to take them, so choose some pretty sites before you head out. Seek out the best-looking trails or paths, find some of nature’s eye candy, and if you need help coming up with locations, there are always links online to search for new trails too!
  • Choose friends - Having a social network of friends who also like to walk may be a significant factor with how often you head outdoors. Walking in a group may help to increase your motivation and can even create more challenging walks by providing a healthy dose of competition.
  • Choose fun - Many cities across the county offer walking tours which are a lot of fun, so grab some friends or family and sign up! The nice thing about these events is that sightseeing can be very distracting, so more than likely, you will end up walking more than you imagined before you even realize it!
  • Choose good shoes - You certainly can’t enjoy your walk if you are writhing in pain, so make sure your shoes are designed specifically for walking or running. Stay away from the designer shoes that don’t offer any support.
  • Choose safety - Safe walking paths are the surest way to stick to this type of exercise, so find some parks, trails, or walking paths in your community that beckon you with their safety first. Try to avoid secluded areas or areas with heavy traffic and always carry a phone.

Walking for Enjoyment

Workouts certainly aren’t limited to the gym, so head outdoors and enjoy Mother Nature’s beauty. Whether you walk by yourself or with friends and family, it’s the perfect exercise to maintain great health. It’s also the perfect exercise to share with your teenager … if they can keep up, that is.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Hillsboro, Ore.

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