Leslie Sansone on the Benefits of Walking

Medically reviewed in July 2021

The simple act of putting one foot in front of the other can lead to huge gains in health and huge losses in weight. Don't think this simple exercise can change your life? Here's how I know it can work for you, as it has for thousands of others. Check out this success story:

  • Walking is easy and effective. You don't have to be coordinated. You don't have to learn any complicated poses or routines. You just put one foot in front of the other and walk, walk, walk.
  • It's not hard on your body. Many things don't happen when you're walking. You don't crash and burn. You don't get bruised or broken. You don't develop intense rivalries; you build fast friendships.
  • You don't go broke. Too many people put off exercising because they think it will be expensive or intimidating. Not a problem. Just lace up a decent pair of sneakers in your living room and you're ready to walk.
  • You're designed for it! Look at those two masterpieces of engineering sticking down from your hips and connecting you to the ground. Legs have only one purpose: to move you around. If we were designed for a life of sitting, we'd look like one of those blow-up clowns that you can't knock over—no legs, all middle, with maybe a cup holder built into the belly button.
  • It's fun and it feels right. If the sole reason you walk is to lose weight, you'll start resenting that half hour of your day pretty quickly. But you'll soon discover that walking is an end in itself, both revitalizing and relaxing! Once you enjoy walking on its own terms, you'll find yourself craving your daily walk.
  • Your body wants you to use it. Your body does a wonderful job of giving you what it thinks you want. If you spend every evening sitting on your backside watching CSI, your body thinks, hmm, some padding down there might be really comfy! If, on the other hand, you walk every day, your body feels those muscles working and thinks, "Hey! This would be even easier with more muscle." It gives you what you need.

Treat your body like you'd treat good silverware: If you keep it stored away and use it only once a year, it just gets tarnished sitting there. But regular use keeps it at its beautiful, gleaming best. Your body works the same way.

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