Walking is a simple, free, yet an underrated form of exercise. Nonetheless, it allows people to be more active, lose weight and become healthier. Moreover, walking is ideal for people of all ages who want to be fit and healthy.

Turn your leisure walks into fitness walks. The easiest way in doing it is by making walking a habit. Include walking as part of your daily routine as a starter.

If you want walking as your fitness routine, do these ways to turn walking into a healthier form of exercise.

  1. Walk outside with your friends

Instead of going out for a drink or watching movies at the cinema, try walking outside either in a nature park or in a nearby neighborhood with your friends. In a British study of nearly 2000 adults, it was found out that those who recently endured major life stressor such as job loss or unexpected death of a loved one experienced a significant mood boost after they took a walk outside with others. Walking in groups may be a powerful yet underutilized stress buster, so take advantage of walking with friends or family and get some quality bonding with them.

  1. Walk for 15 minutes to supress a sugar craving

According to a study in the journal, Appetite, people who walked before doing office tasks snacked on half the amount of chocolate as compared to people who did not do any physical activity beforehand. So, if you are craving for something sweet, walk for 15 minutes to help you control that sweet craving. This is not only beneficial for you but also for your health.

  1. Walk after every meal to stabilize your blood sugar

In a 2013 study in Diabetes Care, doing a quick post-meal walk lowers down sugar from the blood. This move helps in preventing the increase of blood sugar to those people with diabetes or those who are at risk of developing it.

  1. Walk without cell phone to prevent injuries

Injuries related to using cell phone while walking has doubled in numbers since 2005. In 2010, more than 1500 pedestrians were estimated to be treated in the hospital’s emergency room due to the use of cell phone while walking. Get some time off from using your smartphones and walk without distraction to prevent injuries and accidents. Walking will also help you appreciate your surroundings.

  1. Walk with motivation by using a tracker

Do you feel lazy to walk?  Then, wear a pedometer to be motivated to walk and track your steps. This way, when you see your walk progress, you are challenged to hit certain goals. This will motivate you to walk more to hit not only walking goals as well as weight goals. In a 2013 study from Indiana University, adults who wore a pedometer for12 weeks lessen their average sitting time from 4 hours to 3.3 hours a day. They also shed 2.5 pounds each.

  1. Take fitness walks with a dog

According to a University of Missouri study, those who walked with a dog increased their walking speed by 28 percent over a twelve-week period. Meanwhile, those who walked with a friend or a partner only increased their pace by 4 percent.  Study author of this research revealed that people who walk with their friends or partner tend to whine or talk each other out of workouts or do it leisurely. If you intend to walk for fitness, it is better to have a dog to accompany you for they are always up for a stroll. If you have a pet dog with you, take it with you and enjoy the walk for fitness.

However, before you start walking, wear a comfortable pair of shoes that will provide adequate support. Make sure that the shoes you are wearing will not cause any blisters so you can enjoy your fitness walk. Also, wear loose clothing so you can move freely.

If you intend to do longer walks, don’t forget to put on sun protection, bring extra shirt, water and healthy snack to relish your walk and maximize its health benefits.

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