Many people shy away from exercise as they imagine that it will be too taxing for them. It’s as if they think that they need to already be fit before they can get in shape. It’s hardly surprising that many of us tend to associate getting in shape with high energy fitness routines and getting hot, sweaty and out of breath.

On the other side of the coin, it’s hard for many people to imagine that a low impact, low injury risk workout – an activity which we all do every day – can deliver major health benefits and help you to get in much better shape. However, that’s exactly what walking – a form of exercise which needs no special equipment, training or expertise – can do for you.

When you look at the health benefits that walking can deliver, your feelings of disbelief are only likely to increase. Walking can reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke whilst simultaneously improving the efficiency of the lungs. It can help to lower your blood pressure. It can help to fight depression, boost your energy levels and help you to sleep better at night. It can help to reduce the risk of certain forms of cancer. Recent studies in the UK even seem to suggest that it may be effective in fighting Alzheimer’s disease. It can certainly help you to get in shape and lose weight.

It reads like an advert for a miracle drug or an expensive health supplement. It’s hardly surprising that it’s difficult to credit. It’s also worth noting that you can get started on a walking fitness routine without any special equipment – apart from a comfortable pair of shoes that is. It is also, to all intents and purposes, free. There are no costly monthly gym membership fees to pay. Not only do you save money, but you can fit walking into your day whenever it suits you best.

Most health professionals recommend that you take 10,000 steps daily in order to achieve the health benefits on offer. For the large majority of people, that is equivalent to a distance of somewhere between four and a half and five miles – depending upon your stride length. It does sound like a long way, but it’s easier to achieve than you might imagine. Leave the car in the garage and walk to school or work.Get off the bus a couple of stops early and complete your journey on foot. Take the stairs instead of the lift. There are plenty of opportunities to increase your daily step count, and they all add up.

If you haven’t exercised for a while, if you have any medical conditions, or if you’re over 40 years of age, then be sure to take medical advice before you start any new fitness programme. However, as long as you’re sensible and start off slowly, walking will, in all probability, be extremely good for your health. You will be pleasantly surprised at how quickly you both see and feel the results.

Take a moment to have a look at the huge selection of styles available from Fit flops – sandals, boots, clogs and slippers. Try using an Omron pedometer to monitor your performance and help you to stay motivated.