Skip to main content

Walking Guide: How Walking Fuels Vitality and Wellness

Walking is a fun, low-impact activity that is free and easy to perform, and it’s good for you too! It helps improve health by boosting cardiovascular fitness and aiding in weight management.

24 min readAugust 3rd, 2023
SLWritten By Sara Lindberg
AWWritten By Ashley Walton

In fact, walking as exercise plays a key role in lengthening life expectancy, lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease, improving blood pressure and circulation, building stronger muscles, alleviating joint pain, boosting mood, and much more.

Plus, you can walk just about anywhere, including your neighborhood, the local track, trails, parks, soccer fields, the mall, indoor track at the gym, or at home on a treadmill—making this a relatively accessible and versatile way to stay active.

With so many reasons to lace up and get moving, it’s no surprise that walking is the most popular physical activity among adults. It’s also the most natural way for humans to move. So, if you’re ready to reap the benefits of this time-tested cardiovascular activity, then grab your shoes, and let’s get started.

Physical and Mental Health Benefits of Walking

Walking is an excellent, low-impact workout that is generally safe, convenient, and simple to begin. Plus, it doesn't require special skills or equipment, other than a comfortable pair of walking or running shoes.

The advantages don't stop there, either. In fact, the list of pros outweighs any drawbacks. Here are 16 physical and mental health benefits of walking.

Lengthen Life Expectancy

Physical activity, in general, contributes to better overall health and increases the odds of living a longer life. But did you know that even a small increase in daily step count can lower the demands for medical care?

Researchers found that each increase of 1,000 steps taken daily is associated with a 22% lower chance of dying from all causes, while an increase of 500 steps was linked to a 7% drop in cardiovascular-related deaths.

Better Balance and Flexibility

Participating in a regular walking program helps build lower-body strength, which plays a critical role in balance. While incorporating balance and stretching-specific exercises into an overall routine is the best way to develop better balance and flexibility, committing to a regular aerobic walking program can help prevent falls, especially in older adults.

Build and Tone Muscles

Walking engages various muscle groups, particularly in the lower body, including the legs, hips, and core muscles. It helps tone and strengthen these muscles, leading to improved overall muscle strength and endurance.

Healthier circulation

Improving the blood supply to the brain is a critical goal of having healthy circulation. One study found that walking, as a form of exercise, can increase the supply of blood to the brain. More specifically, researchers found that your foot’s impact while walking sends pressure waves through the arteries that increase the blood supply to the brain, leading to healthier circulation.

Lower Blood Pressure

Getting a good walk in on a regular basis can do wonders for lowering blood pressure, which is great news for anyone looking for ways to manage hypertension (aka, high blood pressure).

In fact, the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) found that walking an average of 150 minutes per week lowers systolic blood pressure by 4.11 mm HG and diastolic pressure by 1.79 mm HG.

Reduce Risk of Heart Disease

Even small improvements in the amount of walking you do can lead to increased cardiovascular health benefits such as a reduced risk of heart disease and coronary events. Beyond the association between cardiovascular disease endpoints and walking, short-term benefits include better lipid profiles and blood pressure, body composition, and improved fitness levels.

This is especially true in sedentary populations, making walking an excellent activity prescription for inactive individuals.

Decrease Risk of Diabetes

A regular walking routine can decrease blood glucose levels, increase insulin sensitivity, decrease weight, and improve heart health, all of which contribute to a reduced risk of diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association (ADA).

Plus, the ADA says even people with diabetes complications can typically  walk for exercise, as long as they are cleared by a physician.

Reduce Risk of Stroke

Higher physical activity levels are associated with a significantly lower risk of stroke, making exercise like walking a protective benefit in stroke prevention. To maximize the effect that exercise has on reducing your risk of stroke, experts recommend getting at least 40 minutes of moderate to vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise three to four days a week. If you’re walking, aim for a brisk to power-walking intensity.

Alleviate Joint Pain

Walking is a low-impact exercise that does not stress the joints, making it an excellent choice for anyone with arthritis or other musculoskeletal issues.

Additionally, walking leads to a better range of motion, which improves joint mobility and flexibility, strengthens muscles, and improves balance, which all help alleviate joint pain.

Keep Bones Strong

Vigorous walking, which is a weight-bearing exercise, may help strengthen lower body bones, including your hips. Weight-bearing exercise is any activity that requires you to move against gravity while staying upright. It also improves joint flexibility and enhances overall joint health.

Curb Sugar Cravings

Sugar cravings can creep up on you when you least expect it, leading to extra snacking, especially on higher-calorie foods. The good news? Research shows that acute exercise, like a 15-minute brisk walk can reduce the urge to indulge in sugary snack foods such as chocolate in overweight people, especially after a walking workout.

Fight Obesity Genes

The genetic tendency towards obesity is something millions of people face, especially if they live a sedentary lifestyle. In fact, the American Heart Association (AHA) says that watching too much TV can worsen your genetic tendency to obesity by 50 percent.

The good news, however, is researchers found that people with this genetic predisposition can cut the effect in half by walking briskly for one hour a day, which decreases the body mass index, or BMI.

Reduce Depression and Anxiety

Exercise is a helpful tool in managing symptoms of anxiety and depression and improving mood. In fact, moderate-intensity aerobic exercise, which includes walking, can be efficacious in treating depression and depressive symptoms.

Some research points to supervised or group exercise specifically for reducing depressive symptoms, making a good argument to join a walking group or create your own with friends.

And, you don’t have to commit to long walking sessions either, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, which suggests that even a 10-minute walk can quickly elevate moods. What’s more, research shows that getting outdoors and walking in nature may increase the benefits related to mood by improving mental health and positively impacting anxiety.

Combat Stress and Improve Mental Clarity

Stress is something we all deal with from time to time. And while some people are better at managing it, others let it build, causing stress to become chronic. Fortunately, moving your body through exercise goes a long way in combating stress and improving moods.

More specifically, the stress-busting benefits of physical activity like walking include an increase in endorphins (the feel-good chemical), increase in self-confidence, better sleep, and thinking more clearly.

Sleep Better

Regular physical activity like walking is associated with better sleep quality. More specifically, data points to better sleep quality in people who are more active throughout the month compared to people who are less active, with many participants reporting sleeping better and longer on active days than days with no exercise.

Enhanced Mindfulness

Whether you’re new to mindfulness or looking for ways to deepen your practice, committing to a walking routine can be a wonderful way to enhance mindfulness. Mindful walking enables you to engage your senses, let go of distractions, focus on the present moment, and cultivate gratitude and appreciation, empowering you to fully experience and appreciate the act of walking.

On your walks, you may be more present in the moment as you take in the sights, sounds and smells around you. You may listen to birds chirping, feel the breeze or sunshine, notice plants you see along the way, and smell flowers or freshly-cut grass.

You may notice how your feet hit the pavement, how your body moves to walk, and your breath. Walking can truly help you with mindfulness practice.

Walking Posture and Technique

A smooth stride requires good posture and proper alignment. While walking with poor form will still get you from point A to point B, it may not be the best technique for long-term success. In general, purposeful movement is best achieved with the correct walking technique.

That said, adjustments may be needed based on individual differences, such as specific medical conditions or physical limitations. If you have any concerns or specific requirements, consider talking with your doctor or a physical therapist who can help you develop a walking technique that fits your needs.

Here how to put your best foot forward:

  • Stand tall and keep your back straight. This includes holding your head high and avoiding arching your back forward or backward.
  • Look forward, not at the ground. Your gaze should be about 10 to 20 feet in front of you, with your chin parallel to the ground.
  • Move your shoulders naturally while keeping them back, down, and relaxed. Avoid raising them towards your ears. This enables a freer arm swing.
  • Gently contract your stomach muscles and maintain a neutral spine. Avoid tucking your tailbone under or sticking your belly out. This will help improve your posture and balance during the walk.
  • Swing your arms freely with a slight bend in your elbows. Think about swinging your arms from your shoulders, forward and back.
  • Walk smoothly, rolling your foot from heel to toe. As you take a step forward, land on your heel first, followed by rolling through the middle of your foot and pushing off with your toes.
  • Walk at a moderate pace that feels natural to you, maintain a steady rhythm, and take comfortable stride lengths.
  • Pay attention to your body and how it feels during the walk. Stay aware of your posture, alignment, and any areas of tension or discomfort.

Walking for Weight Loss

All physical activity burns calories, which can contribute to weight loss. However, the intensity level (or how hard you work), the duration of the workout, and how fast you move will either increase or decrease the number of calories burned during a walking session.

If you walk at a leisurely pace, which is slower and more relaxed, you can expect to burn fewer calories compared to more intense forms of walking.

It may still contribute to weight loss, especially if it replaces sedentary behaviors, but the calorie burn may be lower compared to brisk or power-walking.

Brisk walking involves walking at a faster pace that elevates your heart rate and causes a moderate increase in breathing. It is more vigorous than leisurely walking and can help burn more calories.

Power-walking is the most intense form of walking that incorporates exaggerated arm movements and a faster pace than brisk walking. It requires greater effort and intensity, resulting in a higher calorie burn. This is where you get the most bang for your buck.

Adding light weights to your walking workout is another way to provide an additional challenge and potential weight loss boost. For example, you can carry a light set of dumbbells, strap on a pair of ankle weights, or wear a weighted vest.

The added resistance from the weight requires your muscles to work harder, resulting in increased energy expenditure. That said, using weights that are too heavy can put stress on your arm and shoulder muscles and wrist and elbow joints. In general, you want to stick with dumbbells that are no greater than three pounds.

Get our fitness newsletter

Stay on track with your fitness goals and get inspired! Sign up for the GymBird newsletter for twice-monthly expert fitness and nutrition tips.

Incorporating Walking Into Your Routine

Incorporating walking in your daily routine can be a great way to improve your overall health and well-being. Plus, sneaking this low-impact activity into your schedule is easier than you might think. Here are some simple tips and strategies to help you get started.

Keep Sneakers in Your Car

Being prepared at all times makes it easier to squeeze in a workout during a busy day. Consider keeping a small gym bag packed with a change of clothes, socks, and a pair of walking shoes in your car.

That way, when you have extra time, there are no excuses not to get moving.

Keeping workout gear in your car works especially well if you have kids in sports or other activities. You can walk during their practices instead of sitting and watching.

Or, if you get to an appointment early, lace up your walking shoes and take a 10-minute stroll around the parking lot. Remember, any amount of physical activity, whether short or long, contributes to your overall daily total.

Do a Walking Challenge

You can create a walking challenge with yourself or a group of friends by setting goals together, sharing your progress, and celebrating achievements. Friendly competition can make walking more exciting and help you stay committed.

Another way to participate in a walking challenge is to sign up for a virtual race. A virtual challenge is a waking race where you walk wherever you are located in the world, even in your own backyard or surrounding neighborhoods.

Plus, if the weather is less than desirable, you can opt to crank out the miles on a treadmill while binge-watching your favorite TV show.

Many fitness apps and websites offer virtual events where you can compete against other people or challenge yourself to complete a certain distance by a set date, providing extra motivation, accountability, and a sense of accomplishment. The element of competition can provide extra motivation.

Walk During Lunch Breaks

Schedule breaks in your day for walking. Most people get a few breaks in their day at work, so instead of sitting, get up and walk for 15 minutes. Set a timer on your phone or computer and when it goes off, it’s time to get up and walk. A brisk walk can help rejuvenate your mind and body, enhance focus, and increase energy levels.

Park Further Away

Being inefficient by parking further away or getting off the bus or transit system one stop sooner and walking the rest of the way to your destination can add a ton of steps to your day.

You can also make extra trips to your car to get your packages, take an extra lap up the driveway when you get your mail, or climb the stairs twice instead of once when putting laundry away.

Use the Stairs

Taking the stairs instead of the elevator anytime you can is an excellent way to sneak extra steps into your day. For an extra boost, take the same set of stairs twice before heading to your destination.

Sneak In Walking During Other Activities

Walk while waiting for appointments instead of sitting in the waiting room. Take an extra lap when you go to get your mail or paper. You can also march in place or walk while talking on the phone, which even works for meetings.

Explore Local Parks

Instead of following the same old path every day, why not explore new neighborhoods, parks, or scenic areas near your workplace or home? Discovering new routes adds variety and excitement to your walks.

It also gives you a chance to explore local parks and trails you may have missed if you were not committed to a daily walking routine.

To find trails and parks near where you live, consider checking in with your local Parks and Recreation Department. You can also do a search on various hiking, parks, and trails websites like AllTrails, the U.S. National Park Service, and this parks, trails, and health resource from the CDC.

Setting Step Goals

Tracking daily steps is a powerful motivator to help you stay active and reach your fitness goals. The term "step count" describes counting the number of steps you take while walking or performing other physical activities.

You can track steps with a pedometer, fitness band/activity tracker, smartwatch, clip-on tracker, in-shoe tracker, or smartphone app with GPS-tracking abilities.

Many of these tracking devices come programmed with a goal of 10,000 steps per day, which is roughly five miles. While 10,000 steps is a good daily goal for most healthy adults, it’s not the average most Americans are achieving. In fact, the National Institutes of Health reports the average number of steps for the U.S. population is between 4,000 and 5,000 steps per day.

So, if you’re not used to walking, start slowly and gradually increase the number of steps you take each day. For example, if your fitness baseline is under 10,000 steps, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends increasing your steps by 1,000 per day every two weeks until you reach 10,000 steps per day.

Staying Motivated to Walk Regularly

Staying motivated is one of the biggest hurdles to exercise adherence, especially when life gets hectic. Fortunately, there are some time-tested strategies you can try that can help you stay motivated and stick to a regular walking routine.

Have a Walking Buddy

Walking with a friend or a group can make your walks more enjoyable and provide an opportunity for socializing while keeping you motivated. Find a walking buddy or join a walking group.

Walking with a friend or a group not only makes the activity more enjoyable but also provides accountability. You can motivate and support each other to stay consistent.

Set a Time Every Day

Just like any activity, the more you walk, the easier it is to create a habit. Eventually, you'll reach a point where you don't even have to think about it and you'll just go for a walk because it's part of your routine.

However, getting started is not always so easy, and for some people, creating a routine is the biggest hurdle. That’s why setting a time every day to walk may increase the odds that you’ll stick with a regular walking routine.

Knowing when you're going to walk makes it easier to plan your day around it. You can block off time in your calendar or set an alarm on your phone to remind you.

You can also try walking first thing in the morning or after meals. Setting a specific time  to walk helps you stay accountable, and so does telling someone, like your partner, coworker, or friend, since they are more likely to ask how your walking routine is going.

Because life often gets hectic, sometimes finding a longer time during the day is challenging. When this happens, consider breaking up your walking goal into smaller chunks instead of skipping it all together. For example, take a short 10 to 15-minute walk in the morning after you get up, during your lunch break.

Track Your Progress and Goals

Tracking your progress and goals can help you stay motivated and stick to a regular walking routine. While there are countless ways to do this, the key is finding a method that works for you.

One way to get started is to set a daily step goal and track your progress over time using a pedometer, wearable fitness tracker, or GPS-based smartphone app. These tools count your steps throughout the day, enabling you to measure progress by number of steps, distance, and time.

It’s also helpful to keep a walking journal to write down your daily routes, including the distance, time, and any other reflections, such as how you felt, the intensity level, and if you achieved a milestone.

Consider thinking of ways to reward yourself when you meet your goals or achieve milestones over time. You could treat yourself to a purchase, experience, or other special reward.

Safety Precautions While Walking

Walking may be a low-impact activity that is safe for most people, but it does carry some risks, especially when exercising outdoors. Here are some safety measures to consider before heading outside on your next adventure.

General Safety Precautions

  • Stay alert and pay attention to your environment, which includes avoiding distractions such as excessive phone use. If you’re listening to music or a podcast, consider wearing one earbud instead of two. This allows you to have one ear open to hear the noise around you, like cars or people.
  • If you're walking during low-light hours or at night, stick to well-lit paths and streets. Visibility is crucial for your safety.
  • If you’re walking in the early morning or after the sun sets at night, make sure to wear brightly colored or reflective clothing or accessories such as a headlamp or flashing light vest to make yourself more visible to others.
  • Whenever possible, walk on sidewalks or pedestrian paths and cross at designated crosswalks. If there are no sidewalks available, walk facing oncoming traffic, so you can see approaching vehicles. The United States Department of Transportation has excellent tips and tools on pedestrian safety.
  • Carry some form of identification with you, such as an ID card or a driver's license, in case of an emergency.
  • Drink water before, during, and after your walk, especially in hot or humid weather. Proper hydration is crucial for preventing muscle cramps and fatigue.
  • Pay attention to any signs of discomfort or pain during your walk. If you experience persistent pain, dizziness, or shortness of breath, stop and rest.
  • If possible, walk with a friend or in a group, especially in unfamiliar or isolated areas. If you go out on your own, tell a friend or family member when you leave, and let them know your walking route and estimated return time.

Walking in Hot Weather

Hot weather may seem like the ideal exercise conditions, but when the temperature gets too high, you could be at risk of dehydration, heat exhaustion, muscle cramps, heatstroke, and sunburns.

Opt for early morning or late evening walks when temperatures are cooler. If possible, head outside before 9:00 a.m. or after 7:00 p.m., to avoid excessive heat. Consider exercising indoors when the humidity is greater than 75% and the temperature is above 80 °F (26.6 °C).

If you do go outdoors in the heat, make sure to wear lightweight, breathable clothing in light colors and also use a hat and sunglasses for sun protection.

Carry water and drink it regularly to prevent dehydration. And, of course, wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a high SPF to protect your skin from harmful UV rays. It’s also a good idea to have a walking path with plenty of shaded areas, so you can rest and cool down if needed.

Walking in Cold Weather

Cold weather makes for excellent walking conditions, as long as you’re prepared. Dressing in layers to trap heat and insulate your body is the first step to safe exercising in cooler temps.

Consider a moisture-wicking base layer, add a warm middle layer, and finish with a warm, windproof outer layer.

If the forecast calls for moisture, swap the outer layer for one with a hood and rain-resistant material. Frigid temps also call for gloves, a hat, and warm socks to prevent frostbite.

Be cautious of slippery or icy paths. Wear shoes with good traction, or consider using ice grips or cleats for added stability.

Walking in the Rain

Rainy conditions can make an outdoor walk turn messy if you’re not wearing the right clothing. If possible, opt for a waterproof or water-resistant jacket and pants to stay dry.

If your coat does not have a good hood, you may want to grab an umbrella or wear a hat with a brim to shield yourself from the rain. And don’t forget about your feet. Soggy toes get cold quickly, so choose shoes that are waterproof or water-resistant.

Walking in the Wind

When the conditions turn windy, you’ll want to wear wind-resistant clothing to protect yourself from cold gusts and minimize windburn. This includes covering your face with an item like a scarf or neck gaiter.

It’s also a good idea to stay away from trees or structures that may have loose branches or debris that could come toppling down after a strong wind gust.

Preventing Walking-Related Injuries

Before starting your walk, perform a warm-up routine that includes exercises for your legs and upper body to prepare your muscles and joints. This is also a good time to increase your heart rate and breathing to get your body ready for aerobic movement. Here is a short video from Harvard Health on warming up with dynamic stretches.

You’ll also want to wear comfortable walking shoes that provide adequate support and cushioning. Make sure they fit well and have good traction to prevent slips and falls. Once you get moving, remember the tips we shared above about good walking technique.

Be cautious when walking on uneven or slippery surfaces and pay attention to changes in the terrain, such as cracks, potholes, or loose gravel.

If you have mobility issues or balance concerns, consider using walking aids such as a cane or walking poles to provide extra stability and support.

10 Ways to Make Walking Enjoyable and Engaging

You can always try something new with walking workouts, especially if you do most of your exercising outdoors. Here are 10 ways to make walking more enjoyable and engaging:

  1. Make a playlist of your favorite music. Consider playlists for specific walking workouts, such as more upbeat, fast-paced songs for power walking and slower beats for leisurely strolls. If you want to maximize the cardiovascular benefits and reduce your perceived exertion, researchers say to download songs that are higher tempo, which equates to about 170 heartbeats per minute.
  2. Download a few audiobooks or podcasts that match the duration of your walk. For example, listen to a few chapters each walk or a podcast episode that corresponds with your workout time.
  3. Choose a new trail or neighborhood to explore once a week. This adds variety and gives you something to look forward to. After finishing the walk, write down the route and give it a rating of 1-10, with 1 equating to “not going to do it again,” and 10 meaning “definitely doing this walk again.” After a few months, you’ll have several different neighborhoods and trails to choose from.
  4. Create a scavenger hunt list of items you might come across on your walk and try to find them along the way.
  5. Invite friends or family members to join you on your walks. You can also join local walking groups or clubs to meet new people who share your interest in fitness.
  6. Add bursts of speed or intensity to your walks by incorporating interval training. For example, alternate between walking at a brisk pace and then slowing down for a recovery period. This variation will keep your workout interesting and help you burn more calories.
  7. Challenge yourself to specific walking tasks, such as walking every street in your neighborhood, exploring all the local parks, or completing a virtual walking challenge that takes you on a virtual tour of famous landmarks or cities.
  8. Study up on native birds and plants before your next workout, and then try to identify as many as you can while walking. If you see birds or plants you don’t recognize, take a picture and do some research when you get home.
  9. Try geocaching, an outdoor treasure-hunting game that uses GPS-enabled devices to find hidden items at specific locations.
  10. Add a set of poles and turn your regular stroll into a Nordic walk. These specially-designed poles enable you to engage the core upper body, making the activity a full-body workout.

Making Walking More Challenging

Looking to make your walking workouts more challenging? No problem! From adding weights and upping your step count to trying different terrains, there are plenty of things you can do to spice things up and get even more out of your daily walks.

Add Weights and Strength Exercises

One way to make walking more challenging is to add light weights to your workouts. For example, you can carry a light set of dumbbells, strap on a pair of ankle weights, or wear a weighted vest.

The added resistance from the weight requires your muscles to work harder. It  also engages your upper body muscles, including the arms, shoulders, and back. The key to making this work is to start with light weights and gradually increase the load as you become comfortable.

You can also combine strength exercises with your walking routine by stopping periodically during your walk to perform bodyweight exercises like squats, lunges, push-ups, or step-ups on park benches or stairs.

These exercises will work different muscle groups and increase the overall challenge of your routine. Here is a walk-strength circuit you can try at a local track or park with a circular walking path.

Walk-Strength Circuit

  • Begin by walking one lap around a track (400 meters).
  • Perform the following circuit: 10 reps of jump squats, 10 reps of leg or front lunges, 10 reps of leg side lunges, 30-second plank hold (on forearms and elbows), 30-second plank hold (hands on the ground, arms extended).
  • This is one round. Perform up to eight rounds (this depends on your fitness level).

Get a Treadmill Desk

If you’ve ever considered walking while working, you may be interested in trying an under-the-desk treadmill. These compact machines sit under a desk and offer convenience and flexibility to fit fitness in on your time.

Most under-the-desk treadmills operate at a much slower speed than traditional treadmills. They also lack an incline feature. That said, using a treadmill desk is an excellent way to increase your daily step count while doing other activities like working, watching television, scrolling the internet, or participating in a Zoom meeting.

Online retailers like Amazon offer a variety of under the desk treadmills such as the Slim Walking Pad from Sunny Health and Fitness and the GoYouth 2 in 1 Under The Desk Electric Treadmill. If you have a treadmill and want to retrofit your machine to make it a workstation, you can add a treadmill desk. These innovative tools fit most laptops and treadmills, allowing you to work while walking.

Increase Step Goals

One of the quickest and easiest ways to make your walking workout more challenging is to increase your step goals. You can start by adding a few extra blocks or minutes to your route and gradually build up to longer distances.

If you’re using a fitness tracker or tracking app, reset your step goal by gradually adding more steps each day.

Try Different Terrains

Spending time on different terrains can instantly add a new challenge to your walking workouts. If your walking routine consists of pavement, tracks, or a treadmill, consider walking on sand, gravel, grass, or hilly trails.

Uneven surfaces engage more muscles and require additional effort to maintain balance and stability. Just remember to take it slow and swap out one or two of your existing workouts for one with new terrain.

A Word from Ashley

I’m Ashley Walton, Cofounder and Chief Content Officer at GymBird, and I wanted to add my thoughts to this article because I’m a huge fan of walking, to say the least.

I start every day with a morning walk– sometimes even getting in as many as 10,000 steps before noon. I’ll explore a local park or just do some laps in my neighborhood.

I love starting my days with a walk for so many reasons. I feel that it helps me start the day centered and mindful, as I appreciate the sights, smells, and sounds around me.

I also feel grateful for the beauty in the world and for my body’s ability to walk and take me places.

Walking gets my brain going first thing in the morning. I’m not a morning person in general, but I genuinely look forward to my morning walks. I think about how much better I feel afterwards.

And as soon as I start walking, I feel myself gaining energy and even sometimes having epiphanies that will help me with tasks later in the day.

When I start the day with a walk, I know that at least I’m going to get some sort of movement in my day. Even if the rest of my day is hectic, even if a million things go wrong that day, even if I can’t get a workout in, at least I got in my morning walk, and it does wonders for my mood and energy.

To top it all off, I’m also the biggest fan I know of treadmill desks. I know that it can sound unappealing. The biggest reaction I get from people is, “How can you possibly work and concentrate while walking? I would be scared of falling, tripping, or hurting myself.” That is a completely valid concern. I don’t think a treadmill desk is for everyone.

But I will say: I was able to very quickly adapt to a treadmill desk. Now it’s like breathing. I don’t even think about it. It’s just something I do in the background while doing something else, and it’s completely automatic.  I’m actually walking on my treadmill while editing this article and writing this blurb. So, if you’ve ever been curious to try it, I highly recommend it!

However you get your steps in, walking has so many benefits for your mental and physical health, and I can personally attest to that.

Bottom Line

Walking is a low-impact activity that is easy on your joints and can help to improve your cardiovascular health, strengthen your muscles, and boost your mood.

And whether you're looking to improve your overall fitness level, lose weight, or simply enjoy the outdoors, a walking workout is an excellent way to achieve your goals.

Plus, your daily step count contributes to the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommendation of at least 150 to 300 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week.

Before getting started with a walking routine, make sure to consult with your doctor or another healthcare professional, especially if you have a chronic health condition, injury, or any general health concerns.

Here are some links to step-counting devices and apps to help you get started.

Step-tracking devices:

Step tracking and activity apps:

More Walking Advice from GymBird Experts