Running, jogging, weight lifting, calesthenics. These are
all good for keeping in shape but walking is still the most
simple, and effective, of all exercises to lose weight and
stay in shape and maintain good health.
Approximately 67 million Americans of all ages walk for
exercise regularly. Walking can be done with friends or
alone. And it can be performed outside or inside.
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
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
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
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,
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
In hot, cold and inclement weather consider getting a
treadmill for walking indoors.
Copyright: 2005 Marilyn Pokorney
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Freelance writer of science, nature, animals and the environment.
Also loves crafts, gardening, and reading.