The weather is getting better up here in Alaska, and it’s time to start planning those outdoor activities that were waiting for warmer temperatures. One of the easiest activities you could take part in is walking, and with National Walking Day here already, there’s no better time to start. Want to know why you should walk? Take a look at these benefits of putting one foot in front of the other.
It’s Easy to Do
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises that adults should get about 2 1/2 hours per week of brisk aerobic exercise. The walking doesn’t have to be done around a track or on a treadmill — you can park a few blocks from the post office and use walking there as your walk for the day.
Still not happy with Alaskan weather and don’t want to go outside for a long time? Find a mall, and walk around a floor. Many malls have mile markers now for those who find a stroll past shop windows to be a fun activity.
It’s Surprisingly Good for Alleviating Pain
Did you know that walking, of all things, is very good for helping to soothe some types of pain? Walking actually helps your body get stronger overall, and it’s especially beneficial for your knees and hips. The constant, low-impact movement keeps tissue connections strong and supple, and it helps prevent sore joints from stiffening up.
It’s a Classic Weight and Appetite Control Strategy
Have you ever taken a trip to a city for sightseeing and found afterward that you’d lost a few pounds? Walking is a classic weight-loss strategy. It helps you stave off cravings, burn calories, and even combats those genes that try to make your body hang onto extra weight.
It Clears Your Head
Exposing yourself to constant stress and ending up with brain fog is not helpful — but a walk can be. Walking takes you away from your immediate problems and gives you a little breathing space. Sometimes that break is enough to let you figure out a way to move forward on whatever was causing your stress.
How to Get Started and Keep Going
To get started, take a walk around the block. Just a few minutes is all you need to start building a consistent habit. As you build up, you might find that joining a walking group or taking part in walking events would be interesting. Try the Twilight 12k in Anchorage; while this is mainly a running event, marathons usually have a contingent of walkers attempting the course as well. There’s also the Her Half Tern run, which is for women, and the Alaska Distance Classic, with different marathon lengths.
And if you’re reading this, thinking you’d love to walk but can’t due to an orthopedic injury, contact us here at the Orthopedic Research Clinic of Alaska. We can help you find a way to heal or work with whatever is happening.