Let’s start walking

Shawn Krause Roberts, PT

Walking is a great form of exercise, and here are some of the benefits:

It is the easiest form of exercise and you need no equipment.  

Beginning walking can help to decrease weight that in turn lowers risks for many health-related diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

Walking approximately 1 mile a day has been shown to increase ones whole body bone density, preventing osteoporosis especially in the lower extremities.

Walking improves overall heart strength, increases your overall stamina for more endurance with activities later in the day.

Walking and exercise have been related to improving sleep.

It is recommended to walk at a speed of 3-4 miles per hour, therefore it may take approximately 15 minutes to go 1 mile.

One question you may have, is how many blocks equal 1 mile? On average, the answer would be 10 street blocks or 20 avenue blocks as they are sometimes shorter, however this varies with the sizes of the blocks.  Therefore it is a better plan to go for time, such as 15, 20 or 30 minutes.

If you are just starting out, it is advised that if walking outside, make a plan for a short walk one way, and returning to home halfway through your planned walk (in case you are tired and need to rest or plan somewhere that there may be a bench half way). Then you can continue your walk around a different block or direction if you still feel good.

Two other points include to make sure and have a good supportive cushioned shoe for walking, and make sure to hydrate yourself with water before, during, and especially after your walk.

Shawn Krause Roberts is a physical therapist and co-owner of OSPTI.

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