Okay, so are you a walker… or a jogger? Generally speaking, you’ll fall into one category or the other. Both walking and jogging offer enormous health benefits. It is one of the most economical ways to stay fit, with just investing in the cost of a good pair of shoes. Depending on your intensity, you can enjoy a runner’s high, increased metabolism, increased stamina, or the emotional and psychological benefits that come from walking in nature and having time to reflect. Everyone is different, and occasionally someone is a runner and a walker. Either way, it will make you live longer.
Did you realize how many ways lacing up your shoes can help your health? The American Heart Association says walking will cut your risk of breast cancer, colon cancer, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and osteoporosis. Now that’s a good deal. If you walk every day you will burn calories and improve your muscle strength. Your heart will thank you, too. Plus, the stronger you are, the more able you are to ward off the cold and flu, which will keep you healthier. You may have heard of endorphins: walking and jogging release these naturally-occurring chemicals inside the body, which keeps us energized and in a very good mood!
Hip flexors. Joint ligaments. Hamstrings. Abs. Calves. Glutes. Heart. Pretty much everything from your neck to your knees benefits from jogging and brisk walking. We’ve talked about the physical benefits, but those endorphins are important, adding benefits like improved mental health, physical self-perception and esteem.
Jogging and Weight Loss
According to the New York Times, runners lose more abdominal fat than walkers. But for some people, due to joint replacement or other physical barriers, walking is their only option, and it is a good one. It will reduce your risk of heart disease, is inexpensive, and you can walk pretty much anywhere.
Watch Your Form
Whether walking or jogging, be sure to check your form. It’s always best to gently stretch your calf muscles and hamstrings before heading out. Then make sure your posture is good, and pull in your abdominal muscles to increase your core strength. Have you ever used a pedometer? It’s good to aim for 10,000 steps every day, and step tracking devices can really be a wake-up call if you are being too much of a desk jockey and not hitting the pavement enough.
Where to Walk in Orange County
Okay, so you’re ready to hit the trail, but want a few new ideas of places to go to get in those 10,000 steps. Here are a ideas for walking trails in SoCal.
This park is home to 30 miles of trails, and 4500 acres of pure beauty. Many endangered plants and animals enjoy the area as a sanctuary.
On a clear day, you can see forever from Top of the World at Alta Laguna Park. From Catalina Island to the Palos Verdes Peninsula, this park has it all, with great hiking and jogging trails to kids’ parks, tennis and basketball courts, and fields for baseball or soccer.
Humphrey Bogart, John Wayne, Mae West, James Cagney and Shirley Temple. They have all owned yachts around Balboa Island, and it is a great place for walkers and joggers alike. Take the ferry to the island and get your steps in! There are tons of paved walking paths around Balboa Island, and you can click off the steps and enjoy the scenery.
At The Kovacs Connection, we love showing you the amazing properties in Orange County that you can call home. Give us a call to check them out, and in the meantime, we’ll see you out on a hike!