The recent rise of walking

Grab your sneakers, grab a friend, or grab your dog and get moving!

Categories: For Potential Participants, [Diabetes, Diabetes Type II, Diabetes complications]

The COVID era has ushered in high interest in a very simple exercise: walking. In the early days of COVID, lockdowns shut gym doors. Couple that with cabin fever and general boredom, suddenly people looked to walking as a way get out of the house and socialize with social distance while also getting in a daily dose of activity. Over the past three years, walking has become a popular form of exercise among individuals of all ages. Who knew this movement we do every day would become such a hit?

Not only is walking free and convenient, but it also poses countless health benefits to improve your overall well-being. Here are some ideas and benefits of this full body workout to motivate you to start stepping out: 


  1. Set a goal. You may have heard that the magic number of steps to walk in a day is 10,000. This number may seem daunting but not to worry, experts say 7,500 is just as favorable. The average person ideally takes 6,000 steps per day. To get in that extra 1,500, all you have to do is walk a mile. This can be done any time of day such as during your lunch hour, on a treadmill, or with your pet. Walking a mile typically only takes 20 minutes. That's probably less time than it takes you to make dinner. 
  2. Stay on track. There are various technologies that can help you achieve of your walking goals. Apps like Strava, Map My Run, or the Apple Health app are just a few examples. Apps can be downloaded on your smartphone from either the App Store on your iPhone or Google Play on your Android. You can even reward yourself for starting this new routine by buying yourself an Apple Watch or Fitbit to track your steps. 
  3. Walking can be better than running. Since walking is a low impact exercise, it is less harsh on the joints than running. Walking is less likely to lead to overuse injuries such as stress fractures and shin splints. Walking is also accessible to any fitness level, whereas running can take time to master. 
  4. Improve your heart health. Walking is considered a cardiovascular exercise, or "cardio" for short. Getting in your steps can help lower your blood sugar, improve your cholesterol levels, and weight gain. These benefits can ultimately reduce your risk of heart disease, too. 
  5. Meet new people. Walking clubs have become popular in large cities and suburban neighborhoods alike. By viewing walking as a time to socialize rather than a chore, you may find it easier to get your steps in. Search "walking club locator" or "walking clubs near me" to find available options for you.If you're single, walking dates have also been on the rise since they are free and easy. Bonus, if your date goes south, you can just walk on home.
  6. Walk while you work. Buying a walking pad along with a stand-up desk has become a work-from-home staple. If you are someone who sits in front of a computer all day, this can be a fantastic solution for involving movement into your everyday routine. The best part about using the walking pad is that you can do it in any weather condition. 


If you are unable to walk due to mobility challenges, there are various seated activities you can do to improve your health. Using small free weights to work your arms and simple stretches to improve your range of motion can be good ways to improve your mood, relieve stress, and enhance your wellbeing. You can also try an arm cycle machine to reap the benefits of cardio exercise for your arms. Similar to walking, these activities can also be noted on activity trackers and done with friends. Talk to your doctor or healthcare professional before beginning your new exercise routine. No matter what motivates you to start walking, get creative and get out there in order to turn this trend into a common practice, rather than just a fad of the COVID era.






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