Walking CoupleDo you go through periods where you aren’t motivated to exercise? Or are you intimidated by the media presentation of exercise: pushing your body until you’re crying and vomiting?

Try walking. Almost everyone is cleared to walk by their doctors for exercise, and it’s great for you. Humans were made to walk more than run/stair climb/swim, so your body will respond to it well, and it’s far easier to slip into your day than changing into gym clothes, sweating, showering (again?) and driving back to work.

Even if you’re already doing the recommended 30 minutes of cardio per day, slipping more walking into your day can improve your cardiovascular health. Why? Scientists say many Americans fit into a new class of activity: “Actively Sedentary”. You get exercise, but you still spend the rest of your day sitting. Any exercise will improve your health, but a little bit of walking here and there will add another important layer of support.

Now, walking won’t do everything. Your bones benefit from running, your muscles from weight training. But if you want to support your heart and counteract the effects of prolonged sitting: slip some walking into your day!

One study says spending five minutes every hour walking is enough to counteract the effects of sitting. Once you get in the habit, you can add onto it by walking up and down stairs, using hand weights, or special shoes that support your leg and back muscles.

Spur yourself on by using a step counter—10,000 per day is recommended, but for many people 7,500 may be more realistic.

Try organising errands so you can do more walking—either walk to nearby stores, or park somewhere and walk between stores rather than move your car. Or find an hourly task that requires five minutes of walking, like a phone call that you pace during. Another popular option is a standing/walking desk.

What are your #SneakyExercise tricks? Share with us in the comments or connect with us on Twitter/Facebook!


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