We love walking. It's easy and fun, and you can do it just about anywhere. Plus, you can almost always find a friend to go along with you. Physicians, physical therapists and fitness experts in general have long extolled the benefits of walking.
Walking at an average pace (about 20 minutes per mile) burns around 200 calories an hour, depending on your weight and fitness level. It gets the heart pumping and lungs working, and can be sustained for longer than many other forms of exercise. Many studies have found that walking for 20-30 minutes four to five times per week is a highly effective way of initiating and maintaining a fitness program.
Here's some of our favorite places and times to fit in a quick half-hour of walking:
- Before breakfast - the air is cool, the morning light is pretty, and the only folks about are your fellow exercisers, and the birds.
- Lunch hour - a walk at midday does wonders to clear the head. Why not multi-task? Walk to the local deli, pick up a healthy soup and sandwich, then stroll on back to work.
- Sneak break - Ok, maybe your break isn't a half-hour, but even if it's just 15 minutes, you can still clock in a refreshing walk around the block, or even around your workplace, if it's big enough.
- After dinner - There's nothing like an after-dinner ramble to reflect on the day, get some oxygen into the lungs and set you up for a good night's sleep. (Do stay safe after dark, though. Take a friend along, and wear reflective clothing...)