I am 25 years of age, trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle while juggling a hectic work schedule.Â
The decision to start exercising didnâ€™t come through my own conviction though but through sticking to a routine set up by a wellness applicationÂ I downloaded five months ago to try to get my personal life back on track. My morning routine through this application has led to committing to exercising for at least 7 minutes each morning. My morning routine also requires me to celebrate being able to successfully complete an exercise session each morning to positively reinforce the habit. To keep me on track I have to tick off each activity in the application as I complete them in the morning. A rating system is put in place to let one know how well they are doing regarding their morning routine and I was never one to let myself have bad ratings, and as a result, I have consistently attempted to accomplish walking sessions every day.Â
I decided that walking was the exercise activity I could easily fit into my lifestyle. I was walking the distance between home and the bus station, I was walking the distance between work and the bus station I dropped off at, I was walking to the supermarket each time I needed to get something, walking was the most logical option for me. To start getting my heart rate up I decided it wouldnâ€™t be leisurely strolling anymore; if the time taken to walk between point A and B didnâ€™t shorten over 2-3 walks I simply wasnâ€™t putting enough effort into it. I have regular routes and I time myself every route to ensure I am quickening my pace each time. It has been just over five months now since I made the decision to start walking as exercise and I have achieved results I didnâ€™t think I would be able to achieve and seeing the benefits of my effort. These results include toned thigh, calve, and abdomen muscles; increased heart rate; I have lost weight that I have wanted to lose for some time now, to name a few tangible examples that I can recognize.
How to get started:
It is all a culmination of various decisions.
It starts with a decision to exercise, once one has made the decision to exercise it is then an individual commitment to ensure that an exercise session is carried out every day. However, before arriving at what exercise activity to carry out such as walking, it is important for an individual to do their research and find out as much as possible about the various factors that interact for maximum fitness benefits. This is inclusive of lifestyle habits, work schedule incorporation, diet requirements, body type, to name a few to safeguard against failure.Â
What to expect:
Walking will not yield results as quickly as other more vigorous activities. It will take a few months with the right factors considered to get visible results. Some days will be harder than usual to carry out a walking session especially if it is a particularly busy weekday with a heavier than usual workload or other responsibilities. Walking is not a particular adrenaline rushing activity unless you are training for the Olympics. Taking that into consideration if as an individual you enjoy the adrenaline rush you will have to pace yourself over specific distances and work on increasing the speed of your pace to get the heart rate up. Please note you can start slowly by easing yourself into the activity through leisurely strolls before picking the pace up a notch.
How to find a place or group:
A practical place to start regarding walking is to find out who else in your neighbourhood is engaging in the same activity. If an individual you know in your neighbourhood is walking why not ask to join them for some of their sessions even if they decline the offer you have lost nothing in the process. I managed to find a group through my wellness application as there are virtual group walking activities scheduled, so anyone with the application can participate wherever they are located in the world and can tick it off once done. If you havenâ€™t considered a wellness application it might be an option when it comes to finding a group to join.Â
Another way to find a group or an individual to partner with on your walks is by asking friends, housemates, or family members to join you on your routes.
If you are not into completing walks on our own and have the necessary funds available a gym is also a valuable option. A gym close to home or work or school or whichever places you frequent so that you can easily incorporate it into your daily routine would be best. Once you have found the right gym for yourself you can walk it out on a treadmill. The gym is also very beneficial in that there are professionals employed by the gym that you can also ask for advice regarding body types, what speed and frequency to aim for if you want to achieve specific results and also dietary requirements to consider in your fitness journey.
Benefits of walking:
Short walks over the course of the week might seem like you are not getting results but there are associated long term benefits. These include but are not limited to:
Improved heart rate ?
Boosted brain functionality ?
Burning of calories ?
Improvement of mental well-being by lowering depression and stress levels ?
Itâ€™s not going to be a quick change once you start walking, putting effort into keeping the routine to get the best possible results really does come down to consistency. Taking this factor into consideration is why I believe in adding your own little flairs while on a walking session, be it listening to music or choosing scenic routes or if you have a dog including your dog in the walks. I have had success in incorporating scenic routes to my walking sessions: