16th Feb 2017
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Walking is the easiest exercise and can help reduce weight
Mature woman power walking for exercise

Walking is the easiest form of exercise you can do. It’s the only type you don’t have to have a base level of fitness in order to do properly. It’s exercise you can incorporate into your regular day and do almost anywhere. You don’t even have to make special time for it, like you would for other types of exercise. The best part is that walking can be enough to help you lose weight and become healthier. Not convinced walking is for you? Here are a few points that may change your mind and soon have you hitting the pavement.

The perks of walking
Walking is an ideal form of exercise for people wanting to make the shift from a sedentary lifestyle to a more active one. You can think of it as a good way of easing into physical activity and building up your fitness for other types of exercise. It’s low-impact, making it great for people who are prone to joint pain.

Walking helps to tone muscles and strengthen bones, working large muscle groups, including quadriceps, hamstrings and gluteal muscles. It’s also good for your heart, since it causes the heart muscle to beat faster and pump more oxygenated blood around the body. This increased level of circulation improves cardiovascular endurance which in turn, helps lower the risk of diabetes and bad cholesterol and  reduces obesity.

Walking outdoors has the increased benefit of added vitamin D from the sun, a nutrient your body needs to maintain strong bones, muscles and mental health. Some studies have even shown that vitamin D may provide protection from osteoporosis, high blood pressure and cancer.

What does it take?
The health benefits of walking are clear but it’s going to take more than going for an occasional stroll. When walking as exercise, speed is important. Long, meandering walks are good for thinkers and brooders, but if you want to improve your health, intensity matters most. Power walking burns more calories over the same period of time as regular walking. For optimum health, aim to engage in at least 75 minutes of brisk walking every week. You can determine how intense the exercise is by doing the ‘talk test’. During moderately intense activity, you should be able to talk but not sing, while during vigorous activity, you’ll be able to say only a few words before having to breathe deeply.

Put more pep in your step
So, you’ve decided that you’d like to incorporate more walking into your week. Getting started is the hardest part and most people find that establishing a routine is the best way to go. Set yourself a goal each week to walk for a certain amount of time and keep a logbook to record your progress. You might also like to start out with a stopwatch and pedometer, which counts your steps and analyses your distance. Start with 10 to 15 minutes of brisk walking each day and work your way up.

Need more help to get started? Walk your way to better health and fitness with these tips.

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    COMMENTS

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    MarLin
    23rd Feb 2017
    10:07am
    As some joker said the other day, "Walking into the kitchen for a bacon sarnie is NOT exercise"!
    KSS
    23rd Feb 2017
    12:20pm
    What if I run to the kitchen instead?
    bob
    23rd Feb 2017
    10:32am
    best indicator ,get a dog ,if your dog puts on weight you are not walking enough.
    Ted Wards
    23rd Feb 2017
    11:32am
    I lost 68 kilos through just walking and eating a sensible diet. The health industry dont like it because they dont profit from it!
    KSS
    23rd Feb 2017
    12:31pm
    Walking by itself no matter what the intensity, is highly unlikely to have any effect on obesity. As the saying goes "you can't out-train a poor diet". Another homily " abs are made in the kitchen" is also true.

    However, walking IS great exercise but it has to make you breathless and it needs to be sustained and it needs to be regular. You also need to challenge your body either through speed, distance or adding inclines or stairs into the mix. An amble round the local mall window shopping followed by a cup of tea and a muffin just won't cut it. Neither will a leisurely stroll along the beach lovely as those things are and better than sitting on the couch!
    GiGi
    23rd Feb 2017
    1:21pm
    I used to walk four times per week for 35 minutes or so, and it was great. But then I went on a cruise for a month and (though walking exercise is possible on cruise ships) I stopped walking. I'm home again now, but find it very difficult to recommence regular walking. Moral? Once you get into the habit, don't break it - it's hard to start again!!
    MarLin
    23rd Feb 2017
    1:59pm
    How true! We both signed up for the gym a couple of years ago and go five times a week hail, rain or shine. But we also go o/s twice a year to visit my wife's family and, although I ride a bike over there, it's not as intense as the gym - and we always find an excuse to put off resuming in the gym for at least the first couple of days back here.
    That said, though, we're always happy once we're back into the regime - and a quick glance at some of the overweight people staggering around the local shopping mall is all the incentive we need to keep going!
    dougie
    23rd Feb 2017
    2:34pm
    The best exercise, scientifically proven, easy to do, willpower only required is ; Pushing your chair away from the table.

    It works every time - it takes time but it will happen.


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