14 Ways to Make Walking a Part of Your Daily Routine

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14 Ways to Make Walking a Part of Your Daily Routine
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Going for a walk is easy and amazingly good for you. Just take a friend and keep it interesting.

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Walking may be the simplest form of exercise, but even the biggest fitness buffs miss countless opportunities to do more of it; in fact, some go out of their way to avoid it.

There’s the woman who spends five minutes driving around in search of a parking spot near the gym instead of walking a few extra blocks — and burning a few extra calories. Or the guy who drives half a mile to get ice cream instead of walking there and working off the butter pecan on the way home.

“It’s hilarious,” said Ryan Dando, a trainer at Beacon Hill Athletic Clubs in Brighton. “People spend thousands and thousands of dollars on fad equipment or fad workouts, and then in the same breath they tell me they live right next door to the gym and they drove here.”

Exercise authorities recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week, and the good news is that this activity includes walking, an ideal form of exercise for baby boomers whose knees may be too worn out to run and whose exercise bikes have become clothes racks.

The even better news is that you can achieve moderate intensity while still carrying on a conversation. The best news of all is that the 150 minutes can be broken up into brisk 10-minute walks to the deli or the eighth-floor conference room if that’s all you have time to do — the long-term health benefits are the same.

In other words, everything counts, said Todd Galati at the American Council on Exercise. “People say, ‘I can’t go out and train like those marathon runners,’ and I’m thinking, ‘Wow unless that’s your goal, why would you want to?’ ” he said.

With that in mind, a few suggestions for ways to painlessly incorporate walking into your daily routine.

Make it interesting. Explore new parts of the city; find a trail and watch the sun set. Go to the mall if you must, just avert your eyes going by Cinnabon.

Make it productive. Listen to an audiobook on your iPod. Walk the dog. Call your mother.



Walk The Talk

Experts
Our trusted experts explore ways and offer tips to incorporate walking into your daily life.
Community
Groups across America, of all ages and abilities, are finding a new sense of community by walking.
Health
Just 30 minutes of walking, five times a week, is enough to improve your overall health.
Inspiration
Walking is also good for mind and soul, sparking your creativity and inspiration.