10 reasons to get off the couch and take a walk

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It can be daunting and overwhelming to consider starting an exercise program; especially when you have not been that active. That’s why walking is such a great way to exercise – just about all of us can do it, it doesn’t require much more than good supportive shoes and can be done almost anywhere at any time.

Now that spring has arrived, here are 10 great reasons to get going:

  1. Just the act of getting out and taking a walk can improve your whole attitude when you need a break from whatever is causing you stress. Walking helps clear your brain and can help provide a fresh perspective.
  2. According to many medical professionals, you can lose weight by walking just 30 minutes a day. Chances are you will enjoy it so much you will want to walk even more. Plus, you can do it in increments during the day by parking far away from your building, taking stairs and getting up to talk to people instead of emailing or texting. Aim for 10,000 steps a day. You will be surprised how fast they add up.
  3. Regular walking lowers blood pressure, improves sleep and energizes you. .Regular walkers have fewer heart attacks and strokes, lower blood pressureand higher levels of HDL (healthy cholesterol) than non-exercisers, according to the Cleveland Clinic. Walking can lower blood pressure and LDL (lousy cholesterol), decrease the risk of many cancers and improve immune system function.
  4. Walking can also benefit others. There are a myriad 5Ks that also welcome walkers. Why not set a goal to participate in one that will help support your favorite charity or nonprofit?
  5. Walking a dog, whether it’s your own or at a local shelter, will benefit not only you but also the pup. Animals, too, feel calmer after an energizing walk, especially those who are in shelters for the majority of the day.
  6. Do you or your significant other find your time together is at a premium? Committing to taking a nightly walk together is a nice way to spend quality time with each other. Scheduling a regular walk with a friend will also help you keep the commitment to do so.
  7. Whether you enjoy the ocean, a forest or a beautiful park, walking is a great way to appreciate the beauty and wonder of nature. Start off easy and work your way up to a more invigorating routes.
  8. Take a walk and help clean up your neighborhood. Put your shoes and rubber gloves on and grab some plastic bags. Sure, you may be a bit grossed out about what you will find but once you’re done you will have pride in your neighborhood.
  9. Listen to some music or a book on tape while you are walking. Enjoy a set of favorite tunes or podcasts or a great book. You might find you enjoy it so much you will want to keep going a bit more.
  10. Practice simple meditation while you’re walking. Try to just focus on the simple act of walking itself and your breath. You will be calmer in no time at all.