Can you hear the call of the outdoors? Spring is here! With the blooming flowers, improved weather and general feel of freshness in the air many feel the need to spring into action by caring for your body and mind. Power walking is a great way to get moving, which leads to significant benefits! All you need is a pair of sneakers, some comfortable clothes, and you’re ready to begin! A set of headphones plugged in to some upbeat music or a fun podcast can work wonders, too…just make sure that you’re always paying attention to your surroundings.
Power walking, as a form of moderate exercise, has numerous benefits. This type of exercise, as distinguished from regular walking, entails moving at a brisk pace (4-5mph), swinging the arms, and maintaining a strong upright posture. As a result, it is a full-body workout, targeting the muscles of your feet and legs, your core, and your upper body. Unlike jogging or running, power walking is a low-impact exercise and, hence, there is significantly lower risk of injury.
As you begin to power walk more often, you’ll see an increase in your walking pace and your stamina, and you’ll notice that you can walk for longer periods of time and further distances without getting winded. Over time, you’ll be one of the many power walkers who experience improved cardiovascular health, weight loss, and even improvements to your mental well-being.
Moderate exercise like power walking has been shown to be an effective tool in treating depression, and has even been shown to stave off depression altogether, according to a recent report in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. A separate study turned up yet another unexpected benefit: Walking, like running, was shown to be significantly associated with lower risk of developing age-related cataracts. Who would’ve thought that an exercise like power walking could improve your eye health?
Exercising with friends can be a lot more fun than sticking to a regimen all by your lonesome. Plus, not wanting to stand up your power walking buddy can really help keep you motivated. If you opt for the time alone with your headphones, remember to pay attention to your surroundings! Even though power walking is associated with improved eye health, it won’t keep you from bumping into things if you’re too distracted while lip-syncing to your favorite song.
To help reinforce the positive impact that exercise has on your life, it’s a great idea to track your progress. If you want to monitor your walking in the traditional way, you can buy an inexpensive pedometer at any sporting goods store; you’ll be amazed at how quickly the distances grow! If you’re more technologically-inclined, there are numerous applications designed to make power walking more fun and meaningful.
So go ahead! Take the scenic route home, or the long way to the post office, knowing that you’re making a great choice for your current and long-term health.