In our highly technical world, filled with fancy equipment and specialized gadgets, we often overlook the simplest, most inexpensive way to increase our overall fitness - walking.

Walking is a low impact, high benefit, total body workout that fits into any lifestyle and income bracket.
. Walking benefits anyone, from the frail to the fit, from the old to the young. And the best part of walking? It can be done anywhere, anytime - and you control it!

Walking is the easiest form of exercise. It can be beneficial for any level of fitness. It can be used alone or in conjunction with other workout routines. It is a habit worth trying, offering a wealth of healthy benefits!

By just adding walking, you can delay or even prevent many illnesses because it provides a boost to your immune system. Regular walkers decrease their risks of coronary heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes and many other "killer" diseases, not to mention reducing your chances of catching things like the common cold. It may also help with pre-existing conditions, such as arthritis, diabetes and osteoporosis by providing increased range of motion in the joints; increased flexibility and strength of muscles; increased bone strength; and management of blood sugars.

Walking can enhance your overall mental well being by relieving symptoms of depression and anxiety and boosting self-esteem. It can also promote better sleep quality and enhance energy.

A regular walking program can increase circulation and aid in the control of high blood pressure and high cholesterol. It can even alter your metabolism so you burn more fats, thus leading to a reduction of body fat. Simply walking 2 miles three times per week can decrease your weight by 1 pound every three weeks.

The key to a successful walking program is consistency. It's safe for virtually everyone, because it's low impact - simply by keeping your arms below your heart you avoid a dangerous strain to the unconditioned heart. However, anyone with a pre existing condition should seek medical advise from a qualified medical professional before beginning any form of exercise.

Where To Begin
You should always begin with a consultation with your physician. Once cleared to begin physical activity, invest in a sensible, supportive walking shoe. Then, start out slowly, working towards a goal of thirty minutes of walking at least three times per week. You should start out slowly, warming up your body, then proceed to a comfortable walk briskly, being careful to avoid overexertion - do the talk test. If you are too busy gasping for air and cannot talk while you walk, you are working too hard. Once walking becomes a regular routine, you should aim to walk within your training zone.

Your training zone is the maximal, safe range of your heart rate. To establish this minus your age from 220, then times that number by 45%, or 0.45. This is the maximum beats of your heart per minute for ultimate results. This should be sustained for 15-20 minutes.

Always be sure to incorporate a cool-down period. Slow down your walking for the last five minutes to bring down your heart rate slowly. Abruptly stopping brisk activities puts too much strain on your heart.

How To Take It Up A Notch
Once you become comfortable with a regular walking routine, it's time to challenge yourself.

  1. Keep the same distance, but increase the pace
  2. Increase the distance
3.Try uneven terrain. Uphill walking is a great cardiovascular workout. Downhill walking is superior for lowering blood sugar levels. Remember to always keep your upper body over your hips - don't lean or risk causing back pain.
  1. Pump your arms up to your heart
  2. Lift your knees slightly higher
  3. Try small ankle weight or hand weights
7.Walk an interval course - many neighborhood tracks have workout stations with pulls-ups, sit ups and various other exercises to beef up your workout.

Whether you're new to walking or an old salt, walking provides a multitude of healthy benefits. You are never too young or too old to start a low-impact walking routine. It's easy, inexpensive and flexible, but best of all, it's time well spent!

Original article by Sandra Koehler
. Walking benefits anyone, from the frail to the fit, from the old to the young. And the best part of walking? It can be done anywhere, anytime - and you control it!

Walking is the easiest form of exercise. It can be beneficial for any level of fitness. It can be used alone or in conjunction with other workout routines. It is a habit worth trying, offering a wealth of healthy benefits!

By just adding walking, you can delay or even prevent many illnesses because it provides a boost to your immune system. Regular walkers decrease their risks of coronary heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes and many other "killer" diseases, not to mention reducing your chances of catching things like the common cold. It may also help with pre-existing conditions, such as arthritis, diabetes and osteoporosis by providing increased range of motion in the joints; increased flexibility and strength of muscles; increased bone strength; and management of blood sugars.

Walking can enhance your overall mental well being by relieving symptoms of depression and anxiety and boosting self-esteem. It can also promote better sleep quality and enhance energy.

A regular walking program can increase circulation and aid in the control of high blood pressure and high cholesterol. It can even alter your metabolism so you burn more fats, thus leading to a reduction of body fat. Simply walking 2 miles three times per week can decrease your weight by 1 pound every three weeks.

The key to a successful walking program is consistency. It's safe for virtually everyone, because it's low impact - simply by keeping your arms below your heart you avoid a dangerous strain to the unconditioned heart. However, anyone with a pre existing condition should seek medical advise from a qualified medical professional before beginning any form of exercise.

Where To Begin
You should always begin with a consultation with your physician. Once cleared to begin physical activity, invest in a sensible, supportive walking shoe. Then, start out slowly, working towards a goal of thirty minutes of walking at least three times per week. You should start out slowly, warming up your body, then proceed to a comfortable walk briskly, being careful to avoid overexertion - do the talk test. If you are too busy gasping for air and cannot talk while you walk, you are working too hard. Once walking becomes a regular routine, you should aim to walk within your training zone.

Your training zone is the maximal, safe range of your heart rate. To establish this minus your age from 220, then times that number by 45%, or 0.45. This is the maximum beats of your heart per minute for ultimate results. This should be sustained for 15-20 minutes.

Always be sure to incorporate a cool-down period. Slow down your walking for the last five minutes to bring down your heart rate slowly. Abruptly stopping brisk activities puts too much strain on your heart.

How To Take It Up A Notch
Once you become comfortable with a regular walking routine, it's time to challenge yourself.

  1. Keep the same distance, but increase the pace
  2. Increase the distance
3.Try uneven terrain. Uphill walking is a great cardiovascular workout. Downhill walking is superior for lowering blood sugar levels. Remember to always keep your upper body over your hips - don't lean or risk causing back pain.
  1. Pump your arms up to your heart
  2. Lift your knees slightly higher
  3. Try small ankle weight or hand weights
7.Walk an interval course - many neighborhood tracks have workout stations with pulls-ups, sit ups and various other exercises to beef up your workout.

Whether you're new to walking or an old salt, walking provides a multitude of healthy benefits. You are never too young or too old to start a low-impact walking routine. It's easy, inexpensive and flexible, but best of all, it's time well spent!
.
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