Walk the Walk

Street Message Found on a Walk

Walking is one of my favorite ways to be active through my day because I can walk just about anywhere and anytime. I can walk around the house doing chores. I can walk around my neighborhood or during my lunch break. If I wanted to, I could walk to the store or a friends house. I can even walk to and from the drinking fountain at my work.

Walking has brought a lot of joy into my life that I wouldn’t have gotten by driving. Driving every where was very stressful for me. Now that I walk a lot more, when I need to drive it doesn’t feel so painful. Walking has given me an entirely different perspective of the world. For example, in my neighborhood I have seen custom made yard sculptures, pet rabbits, painted messages on sidewalks, pet pigs, neighborhood libraries, birdhouses, squirrels, owls, and so much more. I have noticed that my overall stress is lower. These little delightful encounters makes me grateful.

Scientific evidence has shown that walking offers a variety of health benefits. These include better blood pressure control, cardiovascular disease risk prevention, improved fitness strength and endurance, and reduced risk of depression. Walking outdoors has an even greater impact on our health. In addition to the above benefits, studies have shown that people who walk outdoors regularly have healthier cholesterol levels, lower body fat, lower blood pressure, and overall a higher quality of life.

What I love about walking is that it doesn’t take a lot of extra effort or planning. However, you need to change your mindset and some behaviors. For example, taking the stairs instead of the elevator or planning for a little extra time to walk to the store/train station/bus stop/restaurant/etc. instead of driving. Part of a holistic approach to a healthier lifestyle is learning how to be active everyday (note that I did not say exercise. You do not need to go to the gym to be active and fit.) Harvard Medical School created this chart that shows walking at a casual rate of 2 miles per hour can actually burn calories.

Walking calorie calculator
Your weightApproximate calories per mile
120 lbs85
140 lbs95
160 lbs105
180 lbs115
200 lbs125
220 lbs135
Harvard Medical School (2020). Walking Your Steps to Health

I want you to complete a 30-day walking challenge. You need a pedometer for tracking. You can find really inexpensive pedometers online. If you are new to walking, then start with the beginner challenge. If you already average more than 8,000 steps a day then try the difficult challenge. Both challenges are posted below. At the end of the day, reflect on how walking made you feel. Think of something positive that you saw or experienced during your walks. Let me know how it goes. I would love to hear from you.


Havard Medical School (2020). Walking: Your Steps to Health

NCBI Research. (2015) Is there evidence that walking groups have health benefits.