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Benefits of Walking

Last updated: May 22, 2024

Walking is a reward in itself, thanks to its many health benefits. But a program through ThedaCare and Future Neenah Inc. gives people even more incentive to get active.

Log Your Loops invites individuals to earn a free T-shirt by completing 50 or more circuits of the Loop the Little Lake Trail between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Walk, run, bike, or skate — any activity counts.

The trail runs through Neenah, Menasha, and Fox Crossing. It offers a beautiful backdrop for a stroll, run, or bike ride.

To participate, simply sign up online or in person, log your loops, and claim your free T-shirt courtesy of Future Neenah and ThedaCare.

“We encourage people to take the challenge,” says Amanda Atkinson, a metabolic and bariatric exercise physiologist with ThedaCare Bariatrics. “Exercise, which includes both strength training and aerobic activity, is a crucial part of weight management.”

Benefits of Walking

According to the American Heart Association, walking can:

  • Reduce the risk of serious diseases like heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and several types of cancer
  • Improve blood pressure, blood sugar, and blood cholesterol levels
  • Increase energy and stamina
  • Improve mental and emotional well-being and reduce the risk of depression
  • Improve memory and reduce risk of dementia
  • Boost bone and muscle strength, and reduce risk of osteoporosis
  • Prevent weight gain
  • Improve sleep quality

Walk this Way

Health guidelines call for getting at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity physical activity. Walking, especially at a brisk pace, counts toward that.

Here are some ways to get the most out of your walk:

  • Choose the right gear. Dress for the weather, and wear comfortable clothes. Layering can help with fluctuating temperatures and changing conditions. Invest in comfortable, supportive shoes and sweat-wicking socks.
  • Ease in. The Loop the Little Lake Trail is about 3.5 miles. Don’t fret if you’re not up to that distance right away. Start with a shorter duration or distance, and soon you’ll work your way up.
  • Mind your form. Stand tall. Walk with your eyes up. Keep your shoulders back, down, and relaxed. Let your arms swing naturally.
  • Make it more aerobic. This can include increasing your pace or incorporating hills or stairs into your route.
  • Have fun. If exercise feels like a chore, try ways to make it more appealing. Bring your dog, recruit a friend to come with you, or get lost in a great audiobook or podcast.
  • Vary your scenery. To fend off boredom, incorporate a variety of routes. That can mean hiking instead of city walking or finding a new trail or neighborhood.
  • Schedule it. Find a time that works best for you and stay with it. Following a routine can help new habits stick.
  • Set a goal: Aspiring to something can serve as great motivation. Choose whatever’s meaningful to you. That could be working your way up to walking a charity 5K or earning a free T-shirt!

Get Active this Summer

Log Your Loops offers a fun way to earn a prize … and bragging rights. But regardless of whether you choose to take the challenge, consider incorporating more physical activity into your routine this summer.

“The warmer weather and longer days offer an appealing time to get active,” Atkinson says. “You might just find that you’ve developed a healthy new habit that you can carry all throughout the year.”

For many people, managing weight can prove challenging with diet and exercise alone. ThedaCare Bariatrics offers comprehensive support and a range of solutions.

Tags: exercise healthy lifestyles heart health Log Your Loops Walking Weight Management

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