By: Connor Davies ’14, Public and Community Health, CRS Communications Assistant
The Make Moves Maryland campaign is all about incorporating more activity in to everyday routines. Because let’s face it, few of us have the time to add something new into our already hectic schedule.
However, there is a fantastic, totally free activity that you are already doing that you may be overlooking – WALKING!
Browse through the images below to discover easy ways to fit even more walking into your day.
What is so wonderful about walking? As it turns out, quite a lot and here are our top 10 reasons why…
1. Walking is accessible to most people.
Unlike activities that require you to travel to a special location, walking is something you can do nearly anywhere! It could be walking to class, walking to the store from the parking lot or even walking down the hall to visit a friend. All it takes is standing up and putting one foot in front of the other.
2. Walking is free!
No membership or special equipment necessary. Walking can be done in work wear, workout gear, in tennis shoes, in flip flops – even in a swimsuit along the beach!
3. Walking can lower stress
Walking can trigger the body’s natural relaxation response after just a few minutes. After a hard day of work, an argument with a friend or before a test, a relaxing stroll can be just what your body and mind need to reset.
4. Walking is a low-impact exercise.
Unlike running or contact sports, walking is relatively easy on joints. Three cheers for less pain and more activity!
5. Walking can strengthen your bones.
Walking is a weight bearing exercise (i.e. you are bearing the weight of yourself) and has been shown to help your body retain bone density. So when you are walking today, remember that you are investing in the comfort of your future self. (Way to go you!)
6. Walking can tone legs and bum.
Walking at a brisk pace is proven to increase leg muscle tone. This effect is increased by walking up hill, so maybe next time you’re out by The Stamp, you should consider taking the time to conquer “the hill.”
7. Walking helps with digestion
After a particularly satisfying meal, the initial reaction to lay down and take a nap can be strong. However walking after eating can help increase the rate of digestion and help defeat that horrible bloated feeling.
8. Walking doesn’t have to take time out of your normal schedule.
If you look at your normal routine, you might be surprised by how much walking you are already doing between walking to your car, walking to classes or running errands. This effect is only enhanced by our large campus. If you don’t think you are walking enough, try taking the longer route to class and walk at a faster pace.
9. Walking can be social
Meetings are a drag for just about everyone. The next time you have a meeting for a group project or work try suggesting a walking meeting. Or, the next time you hang out with a friend, opt to catch up while you take a walk rather than sit on the couch.
10. Walking can be meditative!
For those times you don’t feel like being social, a quiet relaxing walk on your own can be the perfect way to clear your mind. A practice called mindfulness can be incorporated into walking to create a feeling of awareness and increased mental wellbeing. Walking the labyrinth at the Garden of Reflection and Remembrance outside Memorial Chapel is the perfect location to give it a try. Here are some tips for a mindfulness walk in nature.
What do you love about walking? Tell us in the comments below!