Written by: Erick Janisse

Celebrate National Walking Day

The first Wednesday in April is celebrated as National Walking Day. As humans, walking is how most of us get around; but as exercise it provides great health benefits, too! According to a Special Health Report from Harvard Medical School, walking for 2.5 hours a week – that’s just over 20 minutes a day! – can reduce your risk of heart disease by as much as 30%.  Walking has also been shown to decrease the risk of developing diabetes, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and even helps to keep you mentally sharp.  Dr. Thomas Frieden, who served as the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention under President Obama, has stated that walking is “the closest thing we have to a wonder drug.”

The Mayo Clinic - in an article titled “Walking: Trim your waistline, improve your health” - says that the faster, farther and more frequently you walk, the greater the health benefits.  They also recommend that you alternate periods of brisk walking with leisurely walking. This is known as interval training and has several benefits, like improving cardiovascular fitness and burning more calories than regular walking. Another advantage is that interval training can be done in less time than regular walking.

Of course, you should check with your doctor before starting any new exercise routine, but once you decide to get started there are a few things to consider. You’ll need to plan your routine.  Start slowly so that you don’t get discouraged and make a schedule that is practical and easy to adhere to. Having the right equipment is definitely an important consideration.  When it comes to walking equipment, obviously you think of shoes, right?  Dr. Comfort offers many great styles to get you started on your new fitness journey. Some women’s shoes that are specially designed for walking are the Grace, Diane, Refresh, Victory and Spirit.  For men, think about the Performance, Winner, Gordon, Jack and Endurance. These shoes are all quite supportive yet offer excellent shock absorption and cushioning, making for an overall comfortable walking experience.

Walking is the first step to living a healthy lifestyle.  Walking feels great, you can do it with a friend, it’s fun and, best of all, it’s free!

The contents of this blog were independently prepared, and are for informational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily indicative of the views of any other party. Individual results may vary depending on a variety of patient-specific attributes and related factors.