The Benefits of Walking

Three people walking outside together, to exercise

By Olivia Lopez  – Many people think that running is the only way to actually burn calories, increase heart health, and release endorphins to get that exercise “high”, but this is not the case.  Walking can be just as beneficial to your health.  It is a gentle, low impact exercise nearly anyone can do and slowly ease themselves into higher levels of health and fitness.  Brisk walking can lower bad cholesterol (low density lipoprotein- LDL) while increasing good cholesterol (high density lipoprotein-HDL).  It can also lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, manage weight, elevate mood, and increase strength and endurance.  Research has also shown that walking can reduce the risk of heart attack just as much as other vigorous exercises (Mayo Clinic).

Despite it’s benefits, you may be wondering how to find the time to fit it in.  There are many options to squeezing in a walk throughout the day.  You can do it without getting sweaty or having to go to the gym.  You may take a walk during your lunch break with co-workers, have a walking meeting, or even park farther away from work.  Even after work you might have to take the dog out; why not take him for a walk instead of just letting him into the yard?  This will allow you to unwind from work and give your furry friend a chance to get out of the house after being cooped up all day.

It is very easy to find walking events in the Milwaukee community such as Storm the Bastille in the summer, Al’s Run in the fall, and Relay for Life in the spring at Marquette.  Relay for Life is coming up on April 28th and 29th from 6 pm- 6 am at central mall.  This 12 hour event encourages at least one person to walk from each team to be walking the whole time representing the fact that we will not give up in the fight against cancer.  Come out and join a team by supporting Colleges Against Cancer and helping the American Cancer Society find a cure.

Additionally, the Marquette Employee Wellness Program is offering a special event in recognition of National Employee Health and Fitness Day.  All Marquette faculty and staff are invited to join in a “Poker Walk” around the Marquette Mile, led by President Scott R. Pilarz, S.J.  The walk will be held Wednesday, May 16, at noon, beginning and ending at the Helfaer Recreation Center.  Each participant will be given a poker card at registration and will collect their hand along the route.  The top poker hands at the end of the walk will win prizes.  The Department of Recreational Sports will also offer free admission to the Rec Center and Rec Plex May 16-18.

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