(WETM) – If you’re not a fan of intense workouts, there are other ways to stay in shape and keep healthy, like going for a walk.
In fact, a study shows that simply walking at a quicker pace for just 30 minutes a day could help reduce the risk for things like heart disease.
“Walking or really any aerobic activity helps make the heart a bit more efficient,” explained Tamanna Singh, MD, cardiologist for Cleveland Clinic. “So as you’re improving fitness or improving your ability to tolerate a specific load, your heart actually becomes more effective with each contractility, or each heart pump that it provides for that type of exercise.”
Dr. Singh said walking is oftentimes the easiest exercise, not to mention it can be done anywhere, so she recommends it to most of her patients. All you really need is a good pair of shoes.
As far as time and distance goes, she said it depends on the person’s goals.
They don’t necessarily have to walk at a quicker pace for 30 minutes a day in the beginning, they can work up to that level if needed and then focus on consistency.
That’s what’s going to help lead to life-long results and improve cardiovascular risk.
She said another tip to consider is having an incentive to stay active.
“Walking with a buddy sometimes helps build socialization and accountability, so oftentimes I’ll recommend that. Or, walking with a pet — making sure you’re going to be the one walking your dog every day. If you have particular songs or podcasts that you really enjoy listening to, maybe save the ones you really like or your favorites for walks to again provide incentive and ultimately build consistency,” said Dr. Singh.
Dr. Singh said you also shouldn’t feel bad if you miss a day of walking or don’t do as much as you wanted. What matters is being intentional about it and trying to develop a habit.