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Forget the Fitness Maze – Top 5 Benefits of Walking

 By Jaime Collins, Director of Marketing and Communications and leader of Sole Mates Free Walking Club

Getting healthier doesn’t have to be complicated. Just step outside, and go for a walk. That simple and pleasurable act is so basic and so beneficial, it’s a wonder not everyone is doing it.

Each of us is given a beautiful gift of 24 hours with each new day. That’s a whopping 168 hours in every week of our lives. What if we spent just a few of those hours… say a half hour a day… walking? What would we be doing for ourselves?

Here’s my take on the top 5 benefits of the simplest exercise on the planet:

  1. It’s free! All you need is a comfortable pair of walking shoes, and that’s something you probably already have.
  2. You get outside. Wisconsin winters are long. But no matter what time of year it is, many of us spend lots of time indoors. Getting outside in the fresh air and sunshine simply make us feel alive.
  3. It’s so good for so many things. Like your heart, your blood sugar, your weight, your circulatory system, your brain, your muscles, your energy, your back, and even your bones. There’s no end to the benefits it brings your body.
  4. Inspiration. Walking can help clear away the clutter in your brain, give you a natural creative boost, or even enliven you spiritually. There’s something about a simple walk outside that sharpens your mind and enhances your inner experience of life.
  5. Walking connects you. Go for a walk alone, and your likely to bump into an old friend, see neighborhoods or local trails in a whole new way, or experience your community from a close up and personal viewpoint. Go for a walk with others, and you’ll deepen your friendships, talk though something that will lighten your being, or discover something important about someone you care about.

If you think about it, you could surely add to this list. But, these are some pretty solid reasons to get a start walking if you’re not already. Best news is all you need to do is simply put one foot in front of the other.

Think about joining me on a walk with Sole Mates, our free walking club. One hour or less from your 168 hours per week is all you need. Find out more at southwesthealth.org/walk.

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