Here’s an easy way to commit to a regular exercise routine that offers health benefits.
If you are looking to step up your exercise routine and have been relatively sedentary lately, committing to a regular schedule of physical activity of any kind is a good place to start. One very doable goal is to walk or run just a mile a day.
Walking and running offer many health benefits, but are some of the easiest exercises to start and stick with. That’s because they don’t require expensive equipment, an understanding of complicated rules or special places to complete the activity. All they require is your desire to do it and a comfortable and supportive pair of shoes.
Many people find walking and running enjoyable because it gives them a chance to enjoy the outdoors, catch up with a friend, listen to good music or simply unwind from the stresses of the day. It’s also a great activity to do with kids – you’ll get to spend quality time together as you instill in them the importance of regular physical activity.
How to Get Started
Even if you are not an avid runner or walker, start with a goal you feel is attainable. For example, you may not be ready to commit to walking or running every day but you can do it three times a week. Or you don’t think you can make it a full mile, but you’ll start with a half mile or even a walk around the corner. Then, as you feel ready, work up little by little to reach your ultimate goal of covering at least a mile in distance every day.
Here are some additional tips to stay motivated:
- Vary your routine by taking different routes
- Walk or run with a friend or family member
- Bring the kids and turn it into an adventure
- Listen to music or a podcast
- If you miss a day, do not give up
- Reward yourself for reaching your goals
Don’t think you have time to schedule a daily walk or run? Think again. On average, it takes non-competitive, experienced runners about 9 to 10 minutes to run a mile and slower runners about 12 to 15 minutes. Walking a mile takes about 15 to 20 minutes at a moderate pace. So unless you stop to chat with a neighbor every few feet, covering a mile in distance should not take much time out of your day.
7 Reasons to Commit to a Daily Mile
Being physically active on a regular basis has been shown to offer the following health benefits:
- Weight loss and/or healthy weight maintenance
- Mood improvement
- Stronger bones and muscles
- Improved coordination and balance
- Better immune response
- Increased stamina
- Prevention of conditions such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure
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Date Last Reviewed: March 12, 2021
Editorial Review: Andrea Cohen, Editorial Director, Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Contact Editor
Medical Review: Andrew P. Overman, DPT, MS, COMT, CSCS