Walking the world: One 55-year-old's journey

Five years and 140 pounds ago, 55-year-old Stanley Bronstein decided to participate in healthy aging activities and tackle his obesity by walking. The American Heart Association reported that what began as wading in the swimming pool at his gym soon turned into walking on hiking paths around his hometown. When he discovered that his favorite part of the daily exercise was experiencing everything the outdoors had to offer, it gave him a great idea: He was going to walk through every state in the country.

The first step
After his decision was made, Bronstein started the "iWarriorWalk USA Tour," in which he would walk for five hours in each location. He made his way across the country, driving across state lines to get his walks in at every state without wasting time. Bronstein has even flown to far-away states like Hawaii and Alaska and began walking as soon as he got off the plane. He's already successfully tackled every state in America, and has no plans to stop anytime soon. If he keeps up his pace, he'll have walked over 24,000 miles. To put this in perspective, the circumference of the planet is 24,901 miles. In five years of walking, Bronstein will have walked around the world, from a distance perspective – something the previously 320-pound accountant never thought possible.

Bronstein admitted to the AHA that he probably wouldn't be alive today if he hadn't started his journey years ago, and told them he was amazed by "the power people have when they make up their mind." He now operates websites including Super-Change-Your-Life and iWarriorWalk, as well as a nonprofit foundation EON (Eliminate Obesity Now in America) to his name. 

Start walking
Take it from Bronstein – walking is a great (and literal) first step toward losing weight, improving your health and making valuable accomplishments. What's more, getting up and walking can be done anytime, anywhere – even inside and around your assisted living community. So grab your friends and family and start walking.

The Mayo Clinic listed several key benefits to walking, including managing existing conditions like heart disease, high blood pressure and Type 2 diabetes, strengthening your bones, improving your balance and boosting your mood. The source also advised that, even though walking is considerably low-impact, like most physical activities, there's always a chance of injury. Make sure you stretch before and after and wear appropriate sneakers that protect your feet and provide ample support.