Fall is all about remembering to get out there and do stuff. Spend time with the family, enjoy the fresh, cool (well, cooler than most summer days anyway) air and maybe, just maybe throw on a hoodie or sweater. Here are eight good reasons why you need to haul out those walking shoes from the bottom of your cupboard and get going.
- Get fit & lose weight. Walking is an excellent cardiovascular activity. Thirty minutes, three times weekly is said to be all you need to develop a good level of cardiovascular fitness. It has also been shown that walking is effective in burning up calories and increasing your metabolic rate, both of which help you lose weight
- It can be sociable. Walking in a group is sociable and fun. But, on the other side of the coin, it isn’t mandatory that you be sociable to do it. Win-win.
- You will have great muscle tone. Muscles get more of a workout during walking than most aerobic sports. We all know that the tightest and best-looking butts belong to those crazy race walkers. The arms, back and shoulders are also used extensively due to the vigorous arm swing that is required for correct and effective walking. All in all it’s a full body workout.
- You’ll be less stressed. We are all subject to stress (some of us more than others), but not all of us are capable of finding effective ways of relieving it. Walking is better than turning to sugar, cigarettes or alcohol.
- It’s easy. Walking can be done anytime, anywhere. And, other than a pair of decent walking shoes, no fancy equipment, special clothing or expensive paraphernalia is required (thank goodness!).
- It’s flexible. You can choose to walk alone, with a group, with your dog, with the maid or with your family. You can walk in the morning, the evening or during lunchtime. You can walk in the rain, the sunshine or indoors on a treadmill. You can walk on the streets, in the park, or at the gym.
- Anyone can do it. Unless you have major health problems, walking is open to everyone from the very young to the not-so-young. Everyone knows how to walk — no specialized training or techniques are required unless you opt for race walking.
- It helps increase bone density. Increasing your bone density will help to prevent osteoporosis. ‘Nuff said, right?
- No parking fees, speeding tickets. All the hassles and expenditures that go along with driving disappear when you get out and walk. You don’t pay for parking, there’s no such thing as a speed-walking ticket. It’s also extremely environmentally friendly.
- Walking makes you smarter, prettier and richer. Well, not really, but studies show walking can stave off dementia, will help keep your weight under control and make you healthier and it will save you money on gas. So yea, it makes you smarter, better looking and richer.
Websites that focus on walking:
City of Toronto: Walking
One Day Walking Tour of Downtown Toronto
Ontario Trails Council: Greater Toronto Area.
Step Where? Running and Walking Routes in Ottawa
Ontario Trails Council: Ottawa Region
City of Ottawa Walking Clubs
Map My Walk (Calgary)
Walking in Calgary
List of Walks in Vancouver
Vancouver Walking Meet-Up Group
Image Credit: VinothChandar