Walking for Fitness and Health
Small lifestyle changes can make a huge difference in the way you look, feel, and even how long you live.
Often, when people think about aerobic exercise and getting into shape they think about running, however, walking for fitness provides the same health benefits as running, but with less risk of injury.
Health Benefits of Walking
Walking for at least 30 minutes per day will greatly improve your health and overall fitness level. People who walk on a regular basis generally have lower blood pressure, better muscle tone, increased energy, enhanced mood, better circulation, better bone density, and lower cholesterol levels than people who don't perform some sort of aerobic exercise.
The good thing about walking for fitness is that it is fairly easy to do. It requires no special equipment and is one of the cheapest forms of exercise available. All you need to get started is a comfortable pair of walking shoes and a water bottle so you can stay hydrated.
In general, brisk walking is more beneficial than slow walking. If you are really out of shape you can start slowly and increase the distance and speed you travel over time. The faster you walk the more calories you will burn. For example, if a 140 pound person walks for one hour at a speed of 2 mph they will burn off 159 calories. However, if this same person walks for one hour at a speed of 4 mph they will burn off 318 calories per hour. Also, the more you weigh to start with the more calories you will burn while walking.
Also, keep in mind that performing physical activity speeds up your metabolism for the rest of the day. This means that after you are finished with your walk you will continue to burn calories faster than before.
Walking also becomes easier the more you do it. You'll find that over time you can walk further and faster without becoming tired. You'll have more energy all day long too.
In fact, you'll find that once you get used to walking on a regular basis that you will enjoy your daily walks. If you have to miss it for some reason you will be disappointed.
Because you are using your muscles as you walk you will also notice that your muscle tone will increase, and so not only will you feel better, but you'll look better too. Walking even works out your abdominal muscles.
Just start taking a daily walk for the next 30 days and you'll see a huge difference in the way you look and feel. Once those 30 days are over and you see how much better you look and feel I'm sure you'll want to continue your daily walks. They key is to just get started.