4 Tips to Help You Reap the Benefits of Walking

lower legs of a woman walking outdoors
There's a lot to be gained from a quiet stroll around your neighborhood.

by Catherine Santino

Sometimes, finding the inspiration to go for a long walk can be somewhat difficult. However, it's one of the best ways to incorporate exercise into our daily routine.

Walking can provide you with your daily dose of sunshine and help your brain release some well-deserved "feel-good" chemicals like serotonin. According to the Mayo Clinic, walking can not only boost your metabolism and strengthen your muscles, it can also improve your overall mood. "The faster, farther and more frequently you walk, the greater the benefits," explains the source.

In order to really reap the benefits of walking and go the distance, sometimes you have to get a little creative. Here are four tips to help you do exactly that.

1. Take the Stairs

Try taking the stairs instead of the elevator up to your office. If you work on a very high floor, try walking just part of the way. Before you know it, you may just be able to tackle the whole trek.

2. Walk With a Friend During Lunch

Yes, you can still enjoy the benefits of walking even if you have a 9-to-5 desk job. Grab a co-worker and go for a walk at lunchtime, or even start a walking group in the office. That way, you have someone else to hold you accountable for your daily walk. You'll also have a chance to socialize with your co-workers while getting in your daily exercise. It's a win-win.

Not to mention, you'll take advantage of the sun — and get that important daily dose of vitamin D.

3. Get Up Every Hour

Even if it's just a stroll to the water cooler or a lap around the office, try to get up and move every hour to get your blood flowing. You might be surprised how much the steps can really add up.

4. Walk at the Gym

If walking is your thing but there's nowhere convenient for you to walk outside, try going to your gym and walking on the treadmill. Your view might not be as scenic, but you'll still reap the benefits of walking while staying safe and warm indoors.

There's a reason people advise you against running before you can walk. There's a lot to be gained from a quiet stroll around your neighborhood, or a mile on the treadmill. Not to mention, your body (and brain) will thank you!

As always, please consult with a physician prior to beginning any exercise program. See full medical disclaimer here.