Perhaps the simplest and easiest way of staying fit is walking. Our bodies are designed for it, it is low impact and so doesn’t stress your joints too much, it is low risk, can be fairly cheap to do and it is usually possible to make it convenient.

From the perspective of Chinese Medicine (TCM) it is a simple way to get more yang into your life if you are too sedentary (yin).

The benefits do not end here. If you do it with a friend you can make it a time for talking and building the friendship. It is beneficial to talk, not only for your friendship but to monitor your exercise intensity – if you can’t talk fairly easily you are working too hard.

It is not a quick reduction strategy. You won’t slim down quickly but this too can be a benefit: you are more likely to make it a part of your life and so maintain a health weight of fitness more easily.

It is a good exercise for normal people. It is usually possible to find a half hour in the day to go for a walk. You won’t become an athlete but then there isn’t any evidence that athletes are much healthier than those who are normally fit. Athletes do it because they love it, not for the fitness benefit.

My partner and I go for a walk together most afternoons. We look forward to it because where we live is fairly green and so it’s pleasant. We also find that if we miss our walk we need to spend some time talking and catching up with each other, which we normally do on our walk. If we miss our walks many days in a row we need to pay attention to our relationship, we start talking past each other. Our walks are important to us for much more than fitness.

Walking is simple and easy and has many benefits.

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