10 Things I Love About Walking

How do I love walking? Let me count the ways.


Brisk Walking Women
Brisk Walking Women. Steve Debenport/E+/Getty Images

I need to exercise to complement my diet and keep off weight. The one exercise I enjoy most and will make time to do is walking. You burn more calories walking than standing or sitting. How many more depends on how far you walk and how fast you walk. If you want to lose weight, add about 6000 more steps to your day, or 60 minutes of walking most days of the week. You can add them throughout the day or in longer walking sessions. This is a difference of about 300 calories per day.
Calories Burned Walking



Woman Walking
Woman Walking. Sean Justice/Stockbyte/Getty

No health club fees. No wiping somebody else's sweat off the equipment. No communal showers. A walker can just head out the door. You can walk indoors at a mall or in long hallways at work or school. You can walk outdoors around your community. You can walk or ride to a park to enjoy nature. You can walk to the post office, store, or a restaurant. On vacation, you can plan sightseeing walks.


You Always See Something New

Wendy Bumgardner ©

Even if you walk the same route, you see something new every time. I'm always finding something funny or interesting to take a photo of to share. I enjoy greeting people, petting friendly cats and dogs, and seeing what others are up to. I love watching the flowers bud and bloom, and the trees change color. I often explore new paths and parks. Walking connects you to your environment, indoors or outdoors.
Art Spied on a Walk


10000 Steps on a Pedometer
10000 Steps. Mark Harmel / Photographer's Choice / Getty Images

Countless times I have to drag myself out the door because it's cold, wet, or muggy, or I'm feeling sore, stiff or blue. Within 15 minutes I'm telling my walking buddies, "Isn't this great? Such a nice walk!" Walking gets the blood moving to your brain and is a natural mood-booster. Walking is recommended for many conditions to keep you functioning. Use it or lose it. Research is also showing that walking outdoors in nature is even better for mood and mental sharpness.


Walking Builds Relationships

Mature couple walking on natural path
Siri Stafford/Digital Vision/Getty Images

If you want to have a real talk with somebody, go for a walk with them. It can be hard to break the ice at home or at work with TV, phone and computers distracting people. Get them out on a walk and unless they are wearing earphones, they have no choice but to talk to you. Conversation will flow naturally.
How Can You Get Your Spouse to Walk?


digitalskillet/E+/Getty Images

I had trouble meeting people until I took up walking. Today, my entire social network is comprised of walkers. If you are circling the mall or park, you can naturally fall in walking and talking with others. If you register for charity walks, you can meet other walkers there. Just unplug your earphones and start meeting people. I joined a volkssport walking club and formed life-long relationships. These walking friends are active people of all ages. We've gone on walking vacations around the world. I know I'll never have to walk alone, unless I want to!


I Can Enjoy What I'm Walking Past

Dahlia Walk - Full Size
Dahlia Walk. Wendy Bumgardner ©

At walking speed, you can really see things. You don't get the same detail if you are speeding by in a vehicle. Even on a bike or running, you are going to miss a lot. On a walk, you can pause and read a historical sign, examine a flower, appreciate a viewpoint, listen to street musician, check out what a crowd is laughing at, duck into a store, and sample from a food cart. No need to pause your workout gadget, lock up your bike, or find a parking space.


Three Women Walking
Walking for Fitness. Sean Justice/The Image Bank/Getty

I know that walking not only helps me keep off weight, but health authorities also say it also reduces my risk for type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, stroke and other killers. I am doing myself good when I go out for a walk. Often I do double duty and walk a charity walk. But if people ask me what cause I'm walking for, the truth is that my biggest cause is my own health.
Health Risks of Sitting Still


I'm Not Stuck on the Tour Bus

Walking Adventures International - Ephesus Greece
Walking Adventures International - Ephesus Greece. Wendy Bumgardner © 2011

Most of my vacations involve walking and seeing the sights as I walk. On a tour of Nazareth and Jerusalem, I realized that there are many places you just can't see from a tour bus or even a rental car window. You have to be able to walk to them, around them and in them, and many don't have wheelchair ramps.
Take a Walking Vacation

You Can Earn Medals Walking

Jacqui Joseph Finishes Adidas Women's 5K Challenge
Jacqui Joseph Finishes Adidas Women's 5K Challenge. Felix Kunze / Getty Images Entertainment

I was always picked last for any team as a kid. I can't catch or throw a ball. I don't have the patience or coordination or team spirit for many sports. But, by golly, I can walk for hours, and there are plenty of 5K, 10K, marathons and half marathons that are walker-friendly. I have my seven marathon medals framed in my office and surrounded with my most recent half marathon medals. Anybody who hasn't finished a marathon is very impressed. Anybody who has finished a marathon is also impressed. No matter how little you look like a typical athlete, they know you really are one.
Train to Walk a 5K
Train to Walk a 10K
Train to Walk a Marathon or Half Marathon

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