Are you ready to change your life? If so, take a walk. Here are five ways that an intentional daily walk can impact you.
YOU GET STRONGER
A friend recently had heart bypass surgery. The doctors wanted him up and walking as soon as possible. Those daily walks have been an important part of his recovery.
My wife was in a terrible car crash two years ago and her prescription was just the opposite. The doctors did not want her walking for two months. She was confined to a wheelchair.
My friend is getting stronger by the day as he walks. My wife got weaker as she sat.
One of the ways our bodies grow strong is through movement. After two months of a totally sedentary life, my wife was allowed to start walking again. Her strength took much longer to rebuild than it did to lose.
When we make a commitment to walk every day…we are also making a commitment to get stronger.
YOU CREATE A GOOD HABIT
Good habits are really hard to create. There’s solid research that it takes, on average, 66 days to form a habit. When you make a commitment to walk every day, what you’re really doing is making a commitment to build an exercise habit.
One of the most effective ways to make exercise a regular part of your life is to make a promise to yourself that you’re going to take a daily ten-minute walk for 90 days. On those days when you don’t feel like it, that ten-minute commitment won’t feel overly burdensome. On those days when walking is fun you’ll often go longer than ten-minutes.
THE WINDS OF FITNESS SHIFT FOR YOU
Fitness is really hard…especially at the beginning. Fitness capacity is minimal and it’s not much fun. A daily walk incrementally changes that. The more we walk, the more we’re able to walk. You also start discovering ways to make your daily walk fun by enjoying the outdoors, listening to podcasts or audio books, and eventually experiencing the mere pleasure of movement.
Eventually the wind starts shifting. Instead of always feeling like you’re fighting a headwind, you realize the wind is now at your back. This is fitness momentum.
With the wind at your back fitness becomes enjoyable and you begin looking for ways to expand what you’re doing. Fitness is now a part of your lifestyle instead of this “thing” you have to do.
YOUR SELF ESTEEM CHANGES
Fitness is hard and when we do a hard thing we often start to think differently about ourselves. I’m prone to take the easy way. I know that and it’s not something I really like about myself. But, keeping a daily commitment to fitness is changing how I think about me.
What you make a commitment to walk every day and keep that promise you’re doing a hard thing. That’ll change the way you think about yourself too.
YOUR FUTURE SELF WILL THANK YOU
There’s a lot of research that tells us a consistent commitment to exercise can improve our health. There are no guarantees, of course, but taking a daily walk is a powerful way to invest in your future health.
I’ve reached the age where the impacts of aging are seen and felt in very tangible ways. The health difference in my peers who chose a commitment to fitness years ago and those who did not is hard to dispute.
I’m grateful to my younger self who made a commitment to fitness 15 years ago and kept going when it was hard. I want to invest in the future me the same way.
YOU CAN START TODAY
The impact of a daily walk is potentially life-changing. It’s not always fun, but you won’t ever regret making a commitment to walk every day.
I recommend you start with a daily ten-minute walk. To give you a little extra motivation to keep that commitment I also recommend you listen to Walking is Fitness. This is a daily ten-minute podcast I record while on my walk. You can find Walking is Fitness wherever you get your favorite podcasts or check out the most recent episodes HERE.
Thanks, Dave. I needed to hear this!