The benefits of walking
Walking is one of the best forms of exercise going. It's fun, it's free, it's accessible to most people, gives you a great aerobic and cardiac benefit, and is incredibly easy on the joints.
It's also incredibly good for you. Benefits include:
- Holding heart disease at bay and keeping blood pressure down, with a daily walk reducing chances of stroke by up to 40%.
- Halting bone loss in those suffering from osteoporosis, or even leading to denser bone mass. Post-menopausal women who walk for half an hour daily can reduce their risk of fractures by up to 40%.
- Longevity is improved, with those in their fifties and above reducing risks of morbidity by 35%. This leaps to 45% for those with various co-morbidities or underlying health conditions.
- Making you happier, as it releases pain-killing endorphins, improves blood flow and thus oxygen availability, and, depending on where you walk, opens up the natural world for you to enjoy.
- Helping with weight loss, as it's an easy, low-impact way to work through calories.
Try aiming for 30 minutes of walking per day and take it from there.
How to form good fitness habits #12 remember your protein
If you're looking to get in shape and stay fit and healthy, you need to be eating plenty of good-quality protein. It's essential for exercise recovery, for building and repairing muscle, and for maintaining muscle mass as you age.
Lean cuts of meat are a good source, as they give you plenty of complete proteins (with all the 21 amino acids the body needs) with no added fat. Oily fish should also feature regularly- it too represents a complete protein source, whilst also giving you plenty of heart- and joint- healthy omega.
Don't forget plant-based protein, either. Peas (garden peas, split peas, chickpeas- including hummus), beans (kidney, pinto, black, or white beans), soy products (tofu, tempeh, veggie burgers, soya milk), and nuts and seeds are perfect for a mixed, healthy diet, and for any vegetarians or vegans looking to up their protein intake.
If you struggle to get your protein in, take as much as you can from these sources, then consider a whey or soy protein isolate shake to bump up your numbers. You'll likely end up with more energy and more muscle mass as a result.