10 Things to Love About Walking

You know, walking gets a bad rap.  It’s seen as not a real sport.  It’s exercise for people who aren’t athletic—for people who can’t do anything better.  People tend to be a little snobbish about walking.  Like my friend’s four-year-old daughter, who, when told that her mother was walking a 5k race, said, “Oh, so you’re fake running.”  Or a friend of mine who, when I pointed out that walking is, in fact, its own sport—one that’s even in the Olympics—replied with “But why would someone want to walk when they could run?”  Well, there are actually so many reasons.

Still, I often feel like this is why walkers don’t tend to have a community of their own—why we do our thing on our own (or with a friend or two) and don’t make a big deal about it.  I don’t know how often I’ve said it myself: “Well, I’m just a walker.”  And I kick myself every single time I say it for buying into the walking-is-inferior complex.  And that’s why I’ve started this blog—to give walkers that community.

But you know what?  Walking is AWESOME.  And we should all be proud of the fact that we’re walkers.  So let’s talk about some of the amazing things about walking.

  1. Walking is, in fact, a sport.  There are people who train their whole lives to compete in Olympic walking races.

  2. Walking is an easy and inclusive form of exercise.  A whole lot of people can walk—people of all different shapes and sizes and abilities.  In fact, most of us have been doing it almost all of our lives.  You don’t have to learn new skills or new rules to participate.

  3. Walking is low-impact.  There isn’t any bouncing or kicking, so it’s less likely to destroy your joints than other forms of exercise.

  4. Walking doesn’t require a whole lot of gear—just some comfy clothes and decent shoes.  Of course, there are some of us who are a little bit addicted to shopping for gear, but it’s not a requirement.

  5. You can walk pretty much anywhere: on a treadmill, around a track, through your neighborhood, on your favorite trail, at the park while your kids play.  You don’t have to find a special court or field or rink, and there’s no admission or membership cost.

  6. Walking can be a solo sport or a social activity.  You can walk alone to clear your mind, or you can walk with friends to get caught up.

  7. Walking is low-pressure.  You don’t have to be fast.  You don’t have to compete.  You can walk as long and as far as you want—at whatever pace you want.

  8. Walking is good for your whole body!  It gets you moving your legs and pumping your arms.  It can help you lose weight, improve your heart health, and strengthen your immune system, among other things.

  9. Walking burns calories.  I know that some experts will tell you that it helps curb your cravings for sweets or whatever—but, for me, it allows me to treat myself to a Reese’s peanut butter cup (which I keep hidden in my pantry) every once in a while.  Or the occasional donut on my Dunkin run.  And when I’m done, I don’t have to feel guilty about my yummy post-walk iced coffee drink. 

  10. Walking makes you happy!  I’ve often joked that walking is my therapy—and while it doesn’t exactly have the same effect as a session with a therapist, it’s so good for my mental health.  When I escape from the daily stresses and pressures and go for a walk—especially a walk outside—those deep, cleansing breaths of fresh air help me reset and recharge.  I always feel so much better after a walk.  And if I walk with a friend, I get to talk about life, work through my problems, and have a good laugh or two.

Of course, this list is just the beginning.  There are so many reasons why walking is awesome—why it’s not something to be quiet or embarrassed about.  What other reasons would you add to the list?

And the next time that you’re talking about your favorite sport, pick up your chin, look ‘em right in the eye, and tell them with pride that you’re a walker.


Kristin has been hitting the trail (or the treadmill) for a walk almost every day for the past several years, and she recently completed her first half marathon. She loves sunny fall days, cushy walking shoes, and coconut caramel iced coffee from Dunkin.

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