Walking is still one of the simplest and most effective exercises. It helps you to lose weight, stay in shape, and maintain good health. Approximately 67 million Americans of all ages walk for exercise regularly. One of the best things about walking, it can be done with others, pets or alone. You can walk inside or outside. The choice is yours!
Walking helps the metabolic system to control weight, regulate blood sugar, and cholesterol levels. A brisk walk burns up to 100 calories per mile. Walking is an aerobic exercise meaning that it uses oxygen. A brisk walk increases oxygen intake to the blood, strengthens the heart, improves circulation and lowers blood pressure. For people with poor circulation in the arms and legs, walking can help to increase the size and improve the efficiency of the tiny blood vessels that supply blood to the cells. Walking slows development of all forms of arthritis, degenerative joint disease, stops loss of bone mass in osteoporosis, and tones the muscles. Walking helps recovery from back pain. For women walking reduces premenstrual and pain during periods. Regular walking also relieves and prevents constipation. Psychologically, walking generates an overall feeling of well being because it produces endorphins, a natural tranquilizer. This aids in relief of depression, anxiety, and stress.
To get the most benefit from walking, 30 minutes of walking must be done at a brisk pace without stopping. Gradually increase time to 40 to 60 minutes for each session. Always stretch muscles and warm up before walking. Wear walking or running shoes that fit snugly but not too tight, support the arch and lift the heel slightly. Replace your walking shoes every 6 months or 600 miles, whichever comes first.
Quick Tip: Consider getting a treadmill for walking indoors when weather is too cold, too hot or incremental. Happy Trails!