Walking is a healthy, low-impact, and free activity that can be enjoyed every day. There are many advantages to walking daily. Not only is it beneficial for muscles and bones and cardiovascular and pulmonary health, but walking can serve as a weight-loss mechanism and mood booster. While it is totally feasible to walk solo, there are many great reasons to walk with a partner. Let’s explore a variety of reasons to have a “walking buddy.”
- Walking buddies are a great source of encouragement. They can get you motivated, keep you on track, and cheer you on. And you can do the same for them.
- A walking buddy can hold you accountable and vice versa. Thus, having a walking partner makes it more difficult for either party to skip the activity.
- It is generally safer. In a worst-case scenario, should a partner trip or fall, the other is right there to assist. It also may be more secure to walk with a partner than to walk alone.
- Walking together is fun. It provides a sense of purpose and creates a positive experience.
- Staying active and engaged in a fun activity with a friend can reduce feelings of loneliness and even reduce depression in some individuals.
- It builds relationships. Friends may share advice, stories, recipes, or engage in fun subjects such as sports or music.
- It helps to pass the time more quickly.
These are some of the many great reasons to walk with a partner. Whether for exercise, walking the dogs, pushing babies in strollers, or simply spending time outdoors, togetherness can make the activity immensely more fun. No matter where you walk, whether on a sandy beach, a country trail, a suburban neighborhood, or a city block, the experience is generally more profound when enjoyed with a friend.
Six bonus tips:
1) Before engaging in exercise, talk to your doctor to decide what type of activities are right for you.
2) When walking for exercise, find a walking partner who shares similar goals with you. It’s important to keep a similar pace so that you each reach the maximum level of activity desired.
3) Wear appropriate walking shoes (no flip flops, heels, or ill-fit shoes) to minimize falls.
4) Be sure to stay hydrated and wear sunscreen as necessary.
5) Invest in a cell phone holder for walking so that you can safely carry your cell phone for emergencies.
6) When walking near high traffic areas, wear light clothing, stop, look, and listen before crossing the road, and cross at designated crosswalks.
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