What better way to take control of your own health? Walking is the beginning of a healthier lifestyle. Just by walking a few minutes a day, you can reduce your stress and help to increase your metabolism making this a good first step on the road to a healthier you. You can start your walking program by walking for time, not distance, and gradually increase the length of time you walk. As you continue walking, you will begin to see and feel the benefits. Weight control (loss and management) is a health factor that can be the basis for many illnesses. By beginning your exercise with walking, you will be well on your way toward a healthier you. Research shows that by walking you can increase your circulation, heart and joint health and reduce cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and other killer disease risks. Remember, before you start any exercise program to consult with your doctor.
There are many ways that you can incorporate walking into your day and not even think twice about it. Start by parking a little farther from the store; then when you are finished shopping, return the shopping cart to the front of the store. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Instead of ordering lunch at the drive-thru, walk inside and get your lunch. Find a friend to walk with. It’s always less daunting to exercise with someone else. Have you ever wanted to take a vacation with your girlfriends but everyone’s schedule never seemed to match? Maybe you just want to “see” North Carolina. You can “travel” around the world by counting your steps and equating them to miles. Then, with a little internet research you can reward yourself by learning about different places and cultures. On the average, between 2,000 and 2,100 steps are the equivalent to one mile. So with just some casual walking with friends, you could see places you might not be able to get to.
Remember, the benefits of walking are far reaching. Walk for your health; walk to socialize; walk to relieve the days stress; it doesn’t matter why you walk, just walk.
Need a place to walk? Want to make some new friends? There are numerous walking trails and walking groups throughout the county. For trail locations and group contacts, call 299-0924. If you’d like to walk inside, join us on Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 8:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. at the Plain View Gym. Check out the Sampson County Partners for Healthy Carolinians website at www.scpfhc.org.