Where I live in Texas, the month of March is when days become warmer, yet the nights are still quite cool. Bluebonnets, the state flower, is the first wildflower that pops up along the side of roads everywhere. Everyone seems to have a new spring in their step. With near-perfect temperatures, it’s the best time to take walks in many cities and state parks of Texas.
In the next couple of weeks, two national observances focus on walking:
National Take a Walk in the Park Day – March 30, 2021
National Walking Day – April 7, 2021
Every March 30, Take a Walk in the Park Day is an unofficial holiday intended to encourage us to get active and enjoy the physical and mental benefits of walking regularly. National Walking Day, on the first Wednesday of April each year, is sponsored by the American Heart Association. They also remind us about the countless health benefits of walking.
Get out and walk!
Best of all, it’s easy to get involved in these two events, simply get outside and walk! Take a walk in a local park or your neighborhood. Reconnect with nature (or a neighbor from a few feet away!) and release some stress. Walk your dog more often. Take photos of the spring blossoms or other early flowers and encourage others by posting the photos online.
There are so many health benefits from walking!
- Walking is one exercise that is essential for weight control because it helps to burn calories. Adding 30 minutes of brisk walking to a daily routine could help burn about 150 calories a day. The more you walk and the quicker the pace, the more calories that are burned. (Mayoclinic.org)
- Walking can help ease and lower stress by bumping up the production of endorphins. For some people, exercise feels like “meditation in motion.” It becomes easier to forget irritations and focus on the body’s movements. Regular walking can increase self-confidence, release anxiety, and improve your mood.
- Another benefit is improved sleep. Sleep is often disrupted by stress, depression and anxiety. Psychology Today reports that “being exposed to natural light by walking outside in the morning helps entrain a strong circadian rhythm, which promotes healthy sleep.” 4. High blood pressure, a major risk of heart disease, can improve by exercise, such as walking. It works like a beta-blocker medication to slow the heart rate and lower blood pressure – at rest and while exercising. (johnhopkins.org)
Walking is good exercise for beginner workouts.
When beginning an exercise program, walking is perfect. You can go as fast or as slow as you need. Bump up your pace and go longer distances as you improve and become stronger. Not only are you toning muscle, but you are increasing heart strength.
- Try to walk for 30 minutes most days.
- Stretch before walking.
- Keep a steady pace.
- Move arms and keep good posture.
- Be sure to take along some water.
- Invest in good walking shoes!
When walking anywhere, don’t forget to think about safety as you plan when and where to walk. Take your mobile phone and let someone know your route. Always be aware of your surroundings.
Where is your favorite place to walk?
Let us know in the comments!
Resources to help plan your walking routine:
1. How to get more walking into your daily life
2. Free printouts from the American Heart Association to track walking:
3. List of all the trails in the United States
4. Find the closest national park to where you live
The Benefits of Walking – NIH News in Health
Get Moving to Manage Stress – Mayo Clinic
7 Heart Benefits of Exercise – John Hopkins Medicine
Walking Workouts– WedMD
One response to “Take a Step Into Spring! Celebrate 2 National Walking Days”
What beautiful flowers, I love your blue bonnets! Great tips for doing when walking. Now that the flowers and trees are blooming we love walking along the waterway with Lia!