Overwhelmed by Exercise? Go for a Walk!

04/09/13 8:46 AM


walkOverwhelmed by just the thought of starting an exercise program?

Physical Therapy Center of Bristol suggests you just take a walk.

Walking can develop and maintain cardiovascular fitness and release endorphins to make even the crappiest day better.  The best part of it is how easily a walking routine can fit into your current lifestyle because you can do it just about anywhere, with minimal equipment (just a good pair of shoes) and can make it either a social event or time alone with your thoughts, depending on your mood.

Some of the benefits include a reduced risk of stress, heart attack and type 2 diabetes, increased energy and muscle tone, and a better body image.

At Physical Therapy Center of Bristol, we’ve noticed that the most successful walkers follow the cycle of action: start, continue, finish, and celebrate!

Starting

Give yourself a little time in the day to walk.  This may mean saying no to someone or something and you can expect to feel uncomfortable at first because this is a new habit.  Think about the time wasted on telemarketing calls or watching a re-run on television.  Replace that time with a walk that you can do comfortably.  Maybe one 30-minute walk is too much, either physically or logistically, so do a 10-minute walk and a 20-minute walk or three 10-minute walks.

Pick a place where you expect to enjoy yourself.  If you’re walking with a friend, take turns walking in each other’s neighborhoods or try the local mall.  Many shopping centers open an hour before the stores and invite walkers, which makes for a very supportive atmosphere.

Continuing

Keep a log of your walks and aspects such as your pulse, how far you’ve walked in distance and/or time, and a few words about how you feel.  Just as walking is very low-impact, the progress you’ll make over time may seem so small that you will get accustomed to feeling better before you notice the benefits.  Remind yourself of progress.

Finishing

It sounds odd but it’s important to finish any task you start.  Make sure you walk the full 10 minutes you set aside (or 20 or 30).  When you reach your personal goals, you will feel better than if you “cheat” and quit early.

Celebrating

OK, buying a big milk shake after a 10-minute walk is not recommended but take the time to acknowledge what you did for yourself.  It will extend the good feeling you’ve just earned for yourself and make your whole day better.

If anything is preventing you from enjoying your walk – an ache or pain or questions about what makes a good shoe good, call Physical Therapy Center of Bristol at 860-585-5800.

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