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Sep 2

How Walking Helped Me Stay in Shape and Live a Healthier Life – Prevention Magazine

After giving birth to my daughter and becoming a mother in 2015, walking became somewhat of a staple for me. I began simply walking with her in the stroller and it led to something so much largeran entire shift in my lifestyle for the better. Walking was my first step toward building a healthy life Im proud of.

Walking makes me feel better in lots of ways: It helps me decompress after a long day and its a great way to get in some physical activity: You dont even realize that you are technically working out, but you are definitely getting physical benefits from it, and its probably one of the easiest things that anyone can do.

Feeling inspired to start walking? Register for our free virtual 5K walk on Saturday, October 1, 2022 and become a part of a community of thousands of walkers! Have your own walking story? Wed love to hear it! Tell us here for a chance to win a Nathan gift card.

After I began walking with my daughter back in 2015, I thought to myself: You know what, I want to go out and start running. And so I started running with her. I noticed a lot of physical changes in myself and was already losing weight from walking, which really inspired me to try running to kick it up a notch. For the last few years Ive been running more and more, and now I do more of a run-walk. So, Ill run for a certain amount of time, followed by walking. That method balances out well because it allows me to catch my breath, but then also lets me push myself, too. Im even running marathons!

Just as walking led to running, it also led to me to take charge of my health in other ways. I began weightlifting, which I really enjoy, and Im also working on my nutrition to improve my blood work. I struggle with my iron levels, which I think is common for a lot of female athletes, and I also struggle with my cholesterol.

Thankfully Ive been working with a nutritionist to improve my bloodwork by figuring out which foods to eat. Now, I eat a lot more fruits and vegetables, really focusing on dark, leafy greens, and avoiding processed foods. I wont lie and say I dont eat foods that are bad for you, but I do limit those more and more, and try to eat more of the good stuff. And its helped a lot. I focus on hydration, too, and swear by the Nathan Sports hydration packsI got my first one because of the cute color, but its really comfortable and now Im a Nathan ambassador. I love their other products now too!

Sometimes there are days where Im not the most motivated. On those days what helps me is knowing that I always feel so much better after I go out for a walk or a run. And Im grateful that I get to do it. And Im always grateful that I went out there and finished it.

My daughter is 7 years old now, and I have a 5-year-old too, and I want to show my kids forms of exercise that make me feel good, versus trying to over-complicate things. The kids love when we go to the trackthey like to walk around and sometimes even have little races with one another.

Whatever my walks look like, Im always happy to get out and do it. Sometimes I walk with my dog for about a mile, and others I go for an hour-long walk to nearby trails, which helps me decompress and relax at the end of a long day. Walking in the evening is especially nice, whether Im alone with a podcast or my music, or if Im walking with my husband and chatting about our days.

Having people around like my husband who are so supportive is also something that keeps me going. I distinctly remember a walk with my husband where I was debating signing up for a marathon. I was feeling nervous and wondering how I would balance marathon training with my two kids going to school and myself going to school for marketing. We were just taking a walk and talking about all of that, and my husband told me to just go for it. He said that I could put my mind to anything, and if I really wanted it, I would do it. And that he would support me along the way.

Social media is also a really powerful tool for me, too. It helps motivate me and also helps keep me accountable. It creates this sense of community where we are all inspiring each otherit helps me a lot, and it feels good to know that my posts motivate others to get out there, too.

I am so glad that I started walking back in 2015 and that something so simple led to so many important, healthy habits that have changed my life for the better. Walking is something I am grateful for, and if there were any words of wisdom I would give to others looking to begin their walking journey, they would be: Just go out there and do it! Youll never know what you can do unless you try. So, just get out there and see how you feel afterwards. And if you enjoy that feeling, then keep doing it.

Read more from the original source:
How Walking Helped Me Stay in Shape and Live a Healthier Life - Prevention Magazine

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