Walking Facts for a Healthy Lifestyle
- [Voiceover] Benefits of walking.
You may be surprised to learn that there are many benefits that can result from walking.
Walking is the simplest, easiest, and most inexpensive fitness activity, and it can be fun.
Walk at your own pace.
Whether a stroll in the park or a brisk hike, walking is a great activity choice.
Any level of intensity or pace can help to improve your health.
The American College of Sports Medicine shares that walking is a great choice since it can be done anywhere at any time, and sturdy sneakers are the only required equipment.
There are many benefits of walking.
Of these benefits, let's take a look at five of the major ones.
Walking improves cardiovascular aerobic fitness.
The ideal walking pace is moderate to brisk.
At this pace, the heart rate is increased, but conversation can still be held.
This level of exercise improves aerobic fitness and increases the strength of the heart and lungs.
Walking protects your health.
Walking for 30 to 60 minutes at a moderate pace on most days of the week provides many health related benefits.
These health benefits include, lowering blood pressure, improving sleep, increasing energy, slowing down the aging process, and reducing the risk for disease.
Walking produces less joint stress when compared to other exercises.
Walking puts very little strain on your bones and joints, and is considered a low impact exercise.
Walking strengthens muscles and bone.
Walking is a weight-bearing activity, and it involves most of the major muscle groups.
These include the legs, thighs and buttocks.
Walking can also improve the strength and overall health of your bones.
Walking improves body composition.
Regular walking helps the body burn calories and strengthens the muscles.
This can help with weight loss or weight maintenance.
If you are thinking about beginning a walking program, here are some helpful tips to consider before you start.
Start out slowly and gradually.
You may want to start walking 10 to 15 minutes, a few times a day, and slowly increase the time and distance of your walk as you progress.
Start simple and set up goals in small increments.
Once you achieve one goal, use another goal to challenge yourself.
An example might be aiming to walk at a pace of three miles per hour.
This is equal to one mile in 20 minutes.
This is an average beginning goal for any adult without physical limitations including seniors.
Just remember not to overdo it.
Check with your physician before beginning a new exercise routine of any sort, especially if you have any medical conditions.
Choosing the right shoe is essential.
The overall comfort of the shoe is very important.
Without proper support, shoes can cause pain all over the body.
Here are a few tips from the American College of Sports Medicine for selecting a good walking shoe.
Try on shoes at the end of the day when your feet are tired and enlarged from your daily activity.
And wear the type of socks you will be wearing when walking.
Your heel should not slip, and your toes should not wiggle.
Don't assume that shoes will break in after wearing them.
Try both shoes on at the same time, and try walking on both carpeted and hard floors with your new shoes.
Warm up for five to 10 minutes before walking.
Stretching your arm and leg muscles will help get blood flowing, and allows your body to prepare for increased physical activity.
Wear comfortable clothing and use correct posture.
Walk tall with your chest up, shoulders down, and relaxed, and your arms swinging naturally by your side.
Keep your abdominal muscles tight to support your lower back.
Keep a pair of walking shoes and socks in your car so they are handy anytime you have the opportunity to go for a walk.
Make sure you take care of your working body.
Always drink water before, during and after any exercise.
Listen to your body, and cool down at a slower pace than your actual walking pace.
If you are ever in pain or experience discomfort, this might not be the right activity for you.
Whenever walking is possible, regardless of your age, it is a fun, easy way to incorporate physical fitness or exercise into your life.