According to some doctors, if exercise could be packed in a pill, it would be the single most widely prescribed and beneficial medicine available. However, most of us don’t have the time, money or desire to go to the gym regularly. Thankfully, there is a type of exercise that is free and easy to add into your everyday life: walking!
The American Heart Association recommends that adults get 150 minutes or more of moderate-intensity physical activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity each week. Even short 10 minute activity sessions can be added up over the week to reach this goal.
Heart disease and stroke are America’s number one and number five killers; walking can help reduce your risk!
Research has shown that walking at least 30 minutes a day can help you:
- Reduce your risk of coronary heart disease and stroke
- Improve your blood pressure, blood sugar levels and blood lipid profile
- Maintain your body weight and lower the risk of obesity
- Enhance your mental well-being
- Reduce your risk of osteoporosis
- Reduce your risk of breast and colon cancer
- Reduce your risk of non-insulin dependent (type 2) diabetes
To improve your chances of a long, happy, healthy life, follow these tips for adding more walks into your daily life:
Walking around your neighborhood or in one of West Chicago’s beautiful parks or forest preserves is a great way to improve your health while spending time with family and friends in nature.
- You don’t have to walk far to improve your health! By simply moving more you are incorporating good habits into your life.
- Try walking to the corner store when you have to run errands. Or, if you have to drive, park far away from the door so you have to walk just a little bit farther.
- We all know that kids spend way too much time inside and too often with screens in front of their faces. Adding family walks to your schedule will be good for their bodies and their minds!
- Make walking a habit by finding walk buddies—friends or family who’ll walk with you. It’s a great way to ensure that you both get healthy and that you get to spend time together despite busy schedules!
- Set a timer so that you don’t sit at work for more than 45 minutes at a time. Stand up and walk-in place during commercials while watching television.
Healthy West Chicago is working to empower people to incorporate fun and meaningful physical activity into their daily lives. This is accomplished through supporting and sharing information about the availability and importance of physical activity opportunities, and connecting community members to resources.