Almost every day, someone comes through our Fleet Feet doors looking sheepish and reluctant. When we sidle up to them and start talking, we can guess what we're going to hear.
I'm not a runner. I don't run. I don't want to run.
While we obviously love taking good care of runners, Fleet Feet Sports is into fitness, and we're into helping you achieve your goals. If those goals veer far wide of the running track, we're happy to go with you. In fact, our Walk Fit Camp and Walk Fit Distance training programs are among our most popular and loyal groups, and with good reason.
Almost anyone can walk. Most of us do it every day as a primary means of mobility. Studies have shown that walking as exercise is as effective as other types of fitness in a variety of areas.
Reduce Your Risk
Any time we elevate our heart rate, we exercise the circulatory system, strengthening the heart and its efficacy at pumping blood. This type of workout helps to control blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes. But walking can also help to keep asthma in check and even reduce the risk of some cancers. People who walk lower their risk of diabetes by 60% and lower their risk of colon and breast cancer by 20%. Research also indicates that dementia and osteoporosis can be staved off by thirty minutes of walking several times a week.
Dropping weight is an American way of life, it seems, with a new fad diet sweeping the plains every other day. Nearly every year, 45 million Americans "diet,"
and spend good money in the fight against the fat. While vanity is one of the top reasons, losing weight can positively impact your health. Extra pounds stresses the adrenal glads and can exacerbate allergies, but the converse is also true. Losing weight can relieve some allergy and asthma symptoms. When we carry extra pounds, we also put stress on our feet. It follows that when we lose weight, we reduce the impact on our joints and tootsies. Arthritis sufferers report that losing weight alleviates some of their arthritis pain. Walking is one of the easiest ways to drop pounds. After all, you have everything you need already to start walking.
Walking for fitness strengthens and therefore tones the leg muscles. And if you pay attention to posture, gently tightening the abs, you can also strengthen your core. Additionally, walking can tone your tush and arms.
Naturally Lift Mood and Energy
Aside from getting a Vitamin D boost by exercising outside, walking improves circulation, increases the supply of oxygen, and gives those stiff joints a little shake out. Even average athletes know that the way we feel after workouts is bar none one of the best feelings. Endorphins, natural mood lifting hormones, are released during periods of activity. These little happy hormones reduce stress and anxiety. Who doesn't need a shot of that? If you make your fitness social, and walk with a friend or a group of friends, you'll benefit your relationships as well as your heart.
To put a fine point on it, walking is good for you: for your heart, your lungs, your head and your emotional heart, and it's something we all already know how to do! If you want to take your walks further in distance or speed or friendship, consider joining our Walk Fit programs.