Do you want to get fit without having to join a gym or do complicated aerobics routines?

Walking is something everyone at almost every fitness level can do. (Excluding those in wheelchairs and without legs, of course) It is a very measurable activity that has many benefits. You don’t need any special equipment except a decent pair of shoes, so it fits in every budget!

Walking is very therapeutic for the soul if you can find somewhere that has pretty or interesting views. I love walking with other people. It’s a great way to connect, talk and get exercise at the same time. I find walking with people you’ve just met makes conversation easier because you’re not just sitting across from each other trying to think of things to say!

My husband and I try to walk together regularly. We were on a weight loss program once that encouraged people to walk for 30 or 40 minutes in the morning on days you did some weight training and walking 30 or 40 minutes also in the evening on the non- weight training days. Within a few weeks we saw a huge improvement in our fitness level. When we started, we were huffing and puffing up hills, soon we walked up the hills no problem. We both had to get new pants because we went down a couple sizes! We also felt very connected and missed it when we stopped.

I’ve recently been reading about pedometers or step counters. Many books and websites encourage people to try to walk 10 000 steps a day for weight loss and general fitness. It’s approximately 1 1/2 hours worth of walking per day. Many of us who have non-active jobs barely walk 3 000 steps a day, so wearing a step counter can be very enlightening in showing how much we walk daily. It can encourage us to walk more, like taking stairs instead of elevators, walking to the store or work instead of driving, etc.

Whether you choose to get a pedometer or not, try challenging yourself to walk daily and increase your walking distance, time and speed as you feel more fit! Get someone to walk with you or join a walking/hiking club to make it social. Walking is a great weight management tool coupled with healthy eating. It keeps you young, fit and moving!