Steps to a Better You – Sue Potgieter

Everywhere you look, someone is advertising the benefits of exercise. Whether it’s pilates, tai chi, zumba, basketball, hockey, swimming, cross fit or HIIT (High-intensity interval training), the choice can be overwhelming. If you haven’t exercised in a while, or are looking for something easy that you can do every single day, give walking a try. It’s the perfect low impact way to exercise. It’s easy to do, you don’t need any special equipment and you can start at your own fitness level. If you’re not in the best of shape, start by going for a 10 or 15 minute walk around the neighbourhood and work your way up from there. If you’re already in great shape, walking can still provide an effective workout. Walk fast and incorporate some hills and stairs.

But, let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. Maybe work or commitments have got in the way and you need to start slowly. Maybe your doctor suggested that you move around more, or maybe you just want to be proactive about your health and well-being. In either case, walking is the perfect way to start.


In modern society, we spend most of our time sitting down, either at work or on the sofa in front of the TV, which isn’t good for our bodies and can lead to a host of health problems. In fact, sitting down has recently been called the ‘new smoking’. Today, find a comfortable pair of shoes, put them on and go for a stroll through your neighbourhood. There’s nothing like seizing the moment! You could also find a local park with a nice path that you can walk on. If the weather doesn’t permit walking outside, head to your local gym and hop on a treadmill. You can even walk in place at home in front of your TV.

Here’s a simple little idea to get you moving more. As you’re sitting on the couch at night watching TV, get up during commercial breaks and march on the spot until your favourite TV show comes
back on. If you’re using a service like Netflix, make yourself walk on the spot for 10 minutes in between episodes; or turn on the TV and challenge yourself to march on the spot during the entire programme. Time will fly while you’re having fun watching TV and moving.


Speaking of having fun, going for a walk outside can be a lot of fun too. Mix up your route and walk in different areas of town, or visit different parks. Invite a friend to come along with you to walk. It’s always nice to have someone to talk to and having a walking buddy keeps you accountable. Last but not least, grab your phone or MP3 player and listen to music or audio books as you walk to make the time go by faster.

The main thing is that you get out there, move around, and get some exercise in a way that’s gentle on your joints, your heart, and the rest of your body and that’s what walking will do for you. Just give it a try and see if you don’t start to feel better, happier, and stronger after a few weeks of regular walks.


5 Reasons you should go for a walk every single day:
1. Walking gets you outside in the fresh air and sunshine.
2. Walking can help you get to and maintain a healthy weight.
3. Walking can improve your sense of balance and coordination.
4. Walking strengthens your bones and muscles.
5. Walking can boost your mood and help fight depression.

Make walking a daily habit and an integral part of your health, your fitness, and your life and watch the positive changes that take place!
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