Walking...you know that thing we have invented countless ways to avoid doing? Well, it turns out, walking is the path to wellness. It is the simplest of exercises, regardless of your fitness level, and it is the exercise regime with the highest level of success. Increasing the amount of walking you do in a day has significant health benefits. Exercise doesn't have to be P90X or HIIT to count.
When you do moderate-intensity aerobic exercise, such as walking with a purpose, your muscles use glucose to fuel your workout. It also makes your muscles more sensitive to insulin. As a result, most people with diabetes who engage in daily walking see an improvement in blood glucose levels.
Other ways walking helps to improve diabetes include, but are not limited to:
Alleviates the Symptoms of Depression
Reduces the Onset of Nerve Damage or Neuropathy
Reduces Joint Pain
Lowers Blood Pressure
Strengthens Your Heart and Bones
Tones Legs, Glutes, and Core
Adds Years to Your Life
Those are all great reasons to strike out and take a walk right now, but if that’s not enough, by adding just 30 minutes a day of brisk walking can help to improve your stamina and sex drive naturally.
Start with 10,000 steps a day and over time increase the step count as well as the intensity. Every journey begins with, well you know – a single step. What's that? “10,000 step a day is impossible?” Think again. On average you probably already walk somewhere between 2 and 3 thousand steps a day already. To hit the magic 10,000 steps, avoid prolonged sitting, take the stairs instead of the elevator, park further away from work and the store, or walk your kids to the bus stop. The key to success, as with anything in life, will be your commitment to standing up and taking that first step.
Starting a walking routine is easier than sticking with it, so here are 3 tips to help keep you in the game.
Track Your Progress - just seeing how many miles you've walked, whether it's a single workout or over the course of a day, can be very motivating. Use a pedometer or smartphone to make it easier.
Monitor Your Blood Glucose - compare your pre-workout glucose level to your level after you exercise. It can be a great motivator.
Work Out With a Friend- people who work out with a friend exercise more than those who go solo.
As with every other subject I write about, I've read the articles that say "10,000 steps debunked" and "10,000 steps sell pedometers.” But at the end of the day, increasing your level of activity is never a bad thing, and if trying to hit 10,000 steps is what it takes to gets you moving... I say, “Get off your ass and start steppin'!”