Walk Yourself Fit

This week’s blog is written by our lovely #tonictribe member and Ottawa based yoga teacher, Jenna. Thanks for the autumn motivation!

Walking is a man’s best medicine
- Hippocrates

This may have been said over 2,400 years ago, but current studies and research agree! Realistically, it takes a lot to motivate us to walk outside, especially as the weather cools. Here are a few suggestions to help you take the first step. 

Tonic Active Exercise Walking

It’s like the superfood of exercise!
Walking daily improves cardiac risk factors like blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, mental stress, vascular stiffness and inflammation. And if those benefits aren’t motivating enough, increased daily strides have also been linked to protection against dementia, peripheral artery disease, obesity, diabetes, depression, and colon cancer. Walking is the superfood of exercise – so take that kale smoothie to the street.

You can do it anywhere
You can start your new walking practice by simply taking the stairs at work, walking to the convenience store rather than driving, or commit to one jaunt around the block every day before dinner. There’s nothing like working up an appetite!

No warm up or cool down necessary
Just start walking! No need to stretch, or warm up, you don’t have to practice at all, simply start walking and the muscles of your body warm up as you go. You’ve got this.

Tonic Active Tips to Keeping Fit via Walking

Now that you’re motivated, here are a few suggestions to keep things interesting!

Add ‘vitamin’ texture to your walk
Don’t just walk on a treadmill or sidewalk, try out a local path or park. Add snowshoes and venture into new fun places! The more the texture of the surface you walk on varies, the better the walk is for the 33 joints in each of your feet. Walk on the beach, anyone?

Go with a group
Why add more sitting time to your day while you visit with friends, when you can walk and talk! Grab a water bottle or thermos of delicious tea and head outdoors while you catch up with a friend. Not only will talking increase the cardiovascular demand on your body, carrying a thermos will add a small dimension of balance and stabilization as you walk. Plus… tea. Enough said.

Be curious on your walk
Staying completely upright and maintaining a steady pace is actually not as ‘nutritious’ as bending, crouching, and reaching. Explore the ground you’re walking on, kick the falling leaves, check for birds overhead, or maybe create a mini scavenger hunt for yourself on your walk.  Consider it a level up in your walking adventures!

Information for this blog gathered from sources including Harvard Health Publications, and Katy Bowman, M.S.

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