Why Walking is Good, Green Exercise

I am so happy to present this wonderfully written article on my website. Written by Beth Kelly, a blogger based in Chicago, IL. Happy to live in a
city that lets her walk and bike almost anywhere, she's excited to report on the tech side of foot travel. She graduated from DePaul University with a Communications and Art History degree.

If you’re among the many individuals trying to lead a healthy, environmentally conscious lifestyle, walking is the ideal way to stay fit. For numerous reasons, it is the perfect exercise to help you decrease your weight and cholesterol while also reducing your overall carbon footprint. 

Walking has a very low impact on the planet, but when done regularly it can have a powerful impact on your health and overall well being. Going for a walk can not only help you maintain your weight and improve blood circulation, but it can also help connect you with the world around you and improve both your mood and self-esteem.

Though it is not necessary to walk outside, there are an untold number of benefits that can be derived from simply being immersed in nature. Even just walking down streets framed with colorful foliage can have powerful positive psychological effects. Outdoor activities can boost your mood, increase feelings of positivity, as well as help lower anxiety and depression. It is also very easy to be social while walking, because it is easy to carry on conversation and walk with or to the homes of your friends. Furthermore, walking burns calories like running, but it is much easier on your bones and joints; walking can also help reduce the risk of certain diseases such as type 2 diabetes.

Not only is walking beneficial for your health, but it is also a zero-emission activity. In fact, if you walk instead of drive it is a negative-emission activity! Scientists recommend that people walk an average of 30 minutes a day, which according to Alberta Energy would equal about 6.5 billion gallons of gasoline saved - and only comes to about 2 miles per day. How people choose to walk is up to them and their schedule, but there are many ways to incorporate walking into your routine.

Try walking to work or to a friend’s place instead of driving, or just walking for 30 minutes instead of driving to a gym. If it is difficult to schedule that much time for exercise you can also break your walk into three 10-minute walks, such as in the morning, on your lunch break, and after dinner. In fact, everyone walking at least 30 minutes a day instead of driving would have an impact on the environment, on obesity, on diabetes prevention, and on increased safety; it could cut roughly 64 million tons of carbon emissions from the environment.

For those new to walking or exercising, the key thing is to start slow. Just starting to walk for about 10 minutes at a time at a leisurely pace is a good place to begin, and then slowly work your way up in duration. Once you can walk for a full 30 minutes at one time, start to increase the intensity and walk faster, although be sure to warm up and cool down to avoid injury. It might help to walk with a friend, as this can help keep motivation up. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes to avoid injury or feelings of soreness. Also try an alternating routine of varying difficulty so that sometimes you have an easy walk and sometimes a harder one!

Walking is perhaps one of the best exercises because it is suitable for everyone, and if everyone walked more it would positively impact the environment in unbelievable ways. Walking reduces emissions and also connects people to nature, which has incredible psychological benefits for just about everyone. Walking would reduce our dependency on foreign oil and also decrease injuries from automobile accidents. No matter how you look at it, walking is the way to go!


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