My preferred form of cardio activity is walking. It’s simple, inexpensive to implement, and can be done almost anywhere.

All you need is comfortable clothing and a good pair of walking or running shoes. There are a couple of other tools that you can use to get the most out of your workout, however to start, this is all that you need.

While Europeans as a whole walk much more than Americans, those of you here in the States can certainly get up and start a walking program. You can walk on your lunch hour, around your neighborhood, or on your treadmill. This is something that you can start doing today without any special instruction needed.

If you own a treadmill, you have no excuse to not walk. 🙂 I personally love my treadmill. I can maintain my paced walking without interruption and I can listen to music, motivational material, or watch a tape, DVD, or TV while walking. There is no excuse that I can give for weather conditions since I have a treadmill, however I always have the option to also walk outside.

I have done some research and while there are many more benefits to be gained from a regular walking routing, I have listed 5 of the top benefits for you below. Perhaps these benefits can give you some motivation to get started with your own walking routine.

  1. Regular walking reduces your risk of stroke. A study was done on 11,000 men who were alumni of Harvard. The study included them walking an hour a day, 5 days a week. The results of the study were that their risk of stroke was cut in half.


  1. A regular walking routine aids in weight loss. When you incorporate paced walking (uninterrupted, “fast” walking — not running) into your regular, workout routine, it is one of the easiest ways to reduce your weight. As I mentioned above, this is my preferred form of cardio exercise, and by combining healthy eating, portion control, and a minimum of 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week of paced walking, I have had excellent success with losing weight.


  1. Back pain is reduced. I can attest to this one since I fell down some stairs several years ago and injured my lower back. As long as I keep up my stretching and walking routine, my back is fine. The times that I have abandoned my walking routine have affected me greatly though, by limiting my movement and bringing back discomfort in my lower back.


  1. Decrease your risk for heart attack. A study was done on 72,000 female nurses over a 20 year period and it was found that by walking only 1/2 hour a day, women could decrease their risk of heart disease by 30% – 40%.


  1. Reduce high blood pressure (and your risk for acquiring it). Walking is a cardiovascular activity. Cardio(vascular) activities strengthen your heart muscle, which in turn means that less pressure is put on your arteries when blood is pumped by your heart, through your body.


Note: As it is with any new diet or exercise program, it is always recommended that you visit your doctor first. If you haven’t read my disclaimer yet, I mention that here.
Walking is one of the easiest and most enjoyable physical activities to start. I truly enjoy walking, although I do not always want to get up and do it. Sometimes I do need to “force” myself, however once I am done with my 30, 45, or 60 minute session, I always feel so much better.

Try it yourself and get up and start walking today. You don’t need to do an hour each day, just start with 15 or 30 minutes. Start with 10 minutes if that is all you can do, it all adds up!

Start today and see for yourself how much better you will feel by implementing a regular walking routine, 5 days a week. Not only will you feel better, but if you also have the goal to lose weight, then when you combine your walking routine with a healthy eating plan, you can look forward to weight loss at the same time. Have fun with it!