Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Why Walking Is A Fantastic Form Of Exercise

By Hamish Hayward

Walking is a fantastic form of exercise that's suitable for
the vast majority of people. It's a low impact workout which
has, in comparison with other sports and exercise methods, a
very low risk of injury. It can be fitted into your schedule
whenever it suits you best - there's no need to find the
time to squeeze in a trip to the gym, and no monthly
membership fees to pay either.

There's no shortage of opportunities to introduce walking
into your daily routine. One very common suggestion is to
leave your car at home and walk to work or school. Even if
the distance involved means that that isn't a realistic
option for you then just take the car as normal but park it
in the faraway corner of the parking lot. If you travel on
the bus or the subway then maybe you could get off a couple
of stops early and walk the remainder of the way. During
your lunch hour, go for a short ten or fifteen minute walk
around the block.

These relatively small changes to your daily routine can, if
applied consistently, provide you with some very significant
benefits. Walking can reduce the risk of heart problems and
stroke as well as helping to reduce blood pressure levels.
It can help to combat anxiety and depression and it will
help you to sleep better. It can even lower the risk of
certain types of cancer - and recent studies suggest that it
may help to avoid Alzheimer's disease. Regular walking will
give you more energy and leave you feeling less tired during
the day. Walking on a regular basis will also help you to
lose weight - which for many people will be one of the most
attractive benefits.

That's an incredible list of benefits for an activity which
can be performed by the vast majority of people and which
requires no equipment apart from a pair of comfortable
shoes. If you want, you can get special exercise shoes which
will increase the effectiveness of your walking workout -
but a stout pair of shoes that don't give you blisters is
all that's really needed.

One piece of inexpensive equipment which you may find useful
- but which isn't strictly necessary - is a pedometer. These
can be worn on your belt or tucked away discreetly in your
pocket and will display your results in terms of the number
of steps taken, the distance covered or the number of
calories burned. You may find it easier to stay motivated
and keep walking consistently when you have some data to
work with.

If you don't already own one, then an mp3 player might be
something else to consider. It's not strictly necessary -
but the miles and the time will pass much faster when you're
listening to your favorite tunes.

It's almost incredible to think that such small changes in
your daily routine can produce such significant health
benefits for you. Make walking an integral part of your
daily routine. The sooner you start, the sooner you'll feel
the benefit.
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