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Walking is the Best Exercise

By Marilyn Pokorney

Running, jogging, weight lifting, calesthenics. These are

all good for keeping in shape but walking is still the most

simple, and effective, of all exercises to lose weight and

stay in shape and maintain good health.

Approximately 67 million Americans of all ages walk for

exercise regularly. Walking can be done with friends or

alone. And it can be performed outside or inside.

Walking helps the metabolic system to control weight,

regulate blood sugar, and cholesterol levels. A brisk walk

burns up to 100 calories per mile.

Walking is an aerobic exercise meaning that it uses oxygen.

A brisk walk increases oxygen intake to the blood,

strengthens the heart, improves circulation and lowers blood

pressure.

For people with poor circulation in the arms and legs,

walking can help to increase the size and improve the

efficiency of the tiny blood vessels that supply blood to

the cells.

Walking slows development of all forms of arthritis,

degenerative joint disease, stops loss of bone mass in

osteoporosis, and tones the muscles.

Walking helps recovery from back pain.

For women walking reduces premenstrual and pain during

periods.

Regular walking also relieves and prevents constipation.

Psychologically, walking generates an overall feeling of

well-being because it produces endorphins, a natural

tranquilizer. This aids in relief of depression, anxiety,

and stress.

To get the most benefit from walking, 30 minutes of walking

must be done at a brisk pace without stopping. Gradually

increase time to 40 to 60 minutes for each session.

Always stretch muscles and warm up before walking.

Wear walking or running shoes that fit snugly but not too

tight, support the arch and lift the heel slightly. Replace

your walking shoes every 6 months or 600 miles, whichever

comes first.

In hot, cold and inclement weather consider getting a

treadmill for walking indoors.

Copyright: 2005 Marilyn Pokorney


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