Healthy Monday Tip #4: Walk for Exercise!

healthy monday Healthy Monday Tip #4: Walk for Exercise!

Healthy Monday is a public health initiative founded in 2005 in association with Johns Hopkins University, Columbia University, and Syracuse University. HM’s goal is to end chronic preventable disease in the U.S. by offering people and organizations a weekly prompt to start and sustain healthy behaviors, intentions, actions and initiatives. For most Americans, the week begins on Monday. Studies suggest we are more likely to maintain behaviors begun on Monday throughout the week. That makes Monday the perfect day to make a change for your health and the health of our planet.

I mentioned yesterday that I quit the gym and got tons of great responses. In keeping with the “quit the gym” and “fit for free” theme, today’s Healthy Monday Tip is…

Walk for Exercise!

I wrote about this once before (walking for health). Walking is something that you can add in to your daily routine no matter what – no matter how old you are, how fit you are, where you live, or how much time you have. I am a 24 years old, I work full time, I’m moderately fit, and I live in New York – and I walk every day.

How to Fit in a Daily Walk

  • Walk to work.
  • Walk home from work.
  • Take a 20 minute walk in the morning before your morning routine.
  • Take a 20 minute walk after lunch and/or dinner.
  • Have a date-walk with your significant other and chat about life instead of plopping on the couch to watch TV.
  • Go to the park and walk around with a camera; take pictures of pretty flowers.
  • Walk around your city or town and check out all the Christmas decorations.
  • Go window shopping (might be a good idea to leave the wallet home).

Why You Should Walk

  • It’s heart-healthy (apparently so is a 3/4 cup serving of oatmeal).
  • It’s good for your brain – as we get older our brains shrink… but the shrinkage is less for people who walk more. (I’m not kidding.)
  • It puts you in a good mood and fights depression.
  • It’s good for your bones (weight-bearing activity).
  • Walking a mile requires the same amount of “work” as running a mile. So why run if you can walk?

How to Walk?

  • Make sure you have proper posture. Stand tall as you walk; don’t lock your knees. Think of how monkeys walk (but don’t overdo it that much or else you will look like a goof).
  • Walk with your arms, too. It’ll increase the exertion.
  • Short and fast steps are good if you want to get your heart rate up, but…
  • Slow and steady steps are good too. Just get moving.

That’s all for today’s Healthy Monday. I’m off to… walk to work.

How much walking do you do?

18 Comments on Healthy Monday Tip #4: Walk for Exercise!

  1. Beth @ To the Fullest
    8 November, 2010 at 9:03 am (4 years ago)

    “So why run if you can walk?”

    Haha my thoughts exactly!! :)

  2. Megan
    8 November, 2010 at 10:50 am (4 years ago)

    I love, love, love walking. I walk everywhere that I possibly can. Sometimes, I’ll go to the grocery store not because I need something, but because I love walking that particular route. I use google maps to plan out new routes through the neighbourhood streets in my area. It’s always been a priority of mine to live within reasonable walking distance from where I work/study. I exercise in other ways too, but walking is what really puts me in a good mood.

  3. Tiffany
    8 November, 2010 at 11:09 am (4 years ago)

    Maggie, another awesome post. :) Thanks! I agree, walking is awesome. I basically have to walk every day, due to our two dogs, so I’ve learned to really embrace it. When I lived in Boston and did not have a car, I HAD to walk many places (esp. if I wanted to avoid the T or bus!). So, I guess I’ve always been a walker, really.
    How do you feel about treadmills if it’s too unpleasant outside to walk? I have been considering a manual treadmill, since they’re super cheap, but don’t really know much about them.

    • Maggie
      8 November, 2010 at 11:11 am (4 years ago)

      @Tiffany: I’m not a fan of treadmills. I’ve tried them before, but I get bored after a few times. I will bundle up when it’s cold and listen to my iPod, or I will do a yoga podcast inside instead if it’s really too crappy to walk!

      • Tiffany
        8 November, 2010 at 11:21 am (4 years ago)

        Maggie, I hear you! They’re not my favorite, but I figured if I could watch a good movie and only spend $200ish on a manual one, it wouldn’t be as bad as a pricey, electric one! ;)

  4. melissa @ the delicate place
    8 November, 2010 at 11:10 am (4 years ago)

    i love walking! it’s soooo cheap haha ;) and totally calms me. i wish it didn’t get so freaking cold in the winter!

  5. Cindy
    8 November, 2010 at 11:29 am (4 years ago)

    I’m actually swapping my harder running for more walking.

    I like to park WAAAAAAAAAY out in the boonies and walk to the store, but my nervous husband has made me stop.

    GAH!

    I walk on my breaks often and will be finding more ways to incorporate steps into my day.
    xoxox

  6. Angie (Losing It and Loving It)
    8 November, 2010 at 1:06 pm (4 years ago)

    Lately hubby and I have been doing a ton of walking. We have been preparing to walk the Reggae Marathon half marathon in Jamaica next month. I have always been one that loves walking, doing Walk Away the Pounds in home workouts, etc. A few weekends ago, we walked 10.6 miles and I knew then that I could make it to 13.1. I really enjoy our shorter walks though 3-5 miles and we will probably stick with those even after the race depending on the Chicago weather.

    Great post though….walking is one of the best forms of exercise that most everyone can do! Hubby and I never have to fight for parking spaces because we will park way out int he boonies LOL

  7. Shannon @ Philadelphia Phitness Pharmacy
    8 November, 2010 at 4:03 pm (4 years ago)

    great tips! I love walking. Running I am trying to love, but walking is great no doubt. I live about a half mile from my college campus and going back and forth to classes and other activities really add up! Every step counts!

  8. Katy
    8 November, 2010 at 4:51 pm (4 years ago)

    I love walking. I used to think that I loved running but obviously I didn’t if I dreaded the thought of going out for a run. I actually LOOK FORWARD to going out for a walk because I love taking in the world around me. I could never do that when I was running. Plus, walking doesn’t hurt your joints like running does ;)

  9. Sagan
    8 November, 2010 at 8:07 pm (4 years ago)

    Today I went for a short evening walk around the block.

    …admittedly, it was a walk with a mission to find a vanilla cupcake or blueberry muffin, but out of the four bakeries that I went to, three were closed and the fourth only had muffins that didn’t look appealing (and were NOT blueberry). So it was a fail in that I didn’t get my baked good… but I was glad to get in the extra little walk :D

    I love walking.

  10. Mimi (Gingersnaps)
    8 November, 2010 at 10:12 pm (4 years ago)

    I love walking! I try to walk everywhere too, since I’m in college and don’t have a car. It’s what I consider my “buffer” for those times when I can’t get to the gym…but I do love walking in general.

  11. Dee
    8 November, 2010 at 10:21 pm (4 years ago)

    Hey Maggie. I love your blog, and follow you on Facebook. I’ve been incorporating lots more walking into my day by simply having the bus drop me off a mile from work in the morning, and then a mile from home in the afternoon, and also walk my dog most days of the week. I also run about 20-30 miles a week, and have to share that according to my Garmin, I burn approximately 85 calories per mile running, but only 60 calories per mile walking (and I walk super fast!). I was surprised and disappointed that the calorie burn wasn’t the same mile for mile.

  12. Anne @ Food Loving Polar Bear
    9 November, 2010 at 11:20 am (4 years ago)

    Walking is so great, I love it! I walk 40 min everyday to and from work and also go for long walks in the evening if the weather allows it.

  13. Krista
    9 November, 2010 at 12:15 pm (4 years ago)

    I’m just getting ready for a sweaty walk on the treadmill. Gotta squeeze it in on my lunch hour b/c I usually get tied up with kid/wife/house stuff when I get home. And it’s SO dark by 6pm that I don’t feel safe.

  14. Amy
    9 November, 2010 at 2:13 pm (4 years ago)

    AMAZING BLOG.
    and I love walking.
    Also, you are now going to be one of my daily reads.

    -Amy :)

  15. Kath (Eating for Living)
    10 November, 2010 at 8:50 pm (4 years ago)

    Yay for walking! That’s my all-time favorite exercise! And so easy to fit into your day. :D

  16. Tanya
    19 November, 2010 at 2:27 pm (4 years ago)

    I LOVE walking!! I try to do a 40 minute walk in the morning, another 40 minutes after lunch, and then maybe an evening one, if I have time. Between that and my 2-3 weight training workouts per week….I think I get all my exercise in :)