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Walking - Effective result

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Walking is a low-impact exercise with numerous health benefits. Here’s how to get started.

Walking is a gentle, low-impact exercise that can ease you into a higher level of fitness and health. It’s one of your body’s most natural forms of exercise. It’s safe, simple, doesn’t require practice, and the health benefits are many. Here’s more about why walking is good for you, and how to get started with a walking program.

Benefits of walking
Walking for fitness can help you achieve a number of important health benefits. For example, you can:

Reduce your risk of a heart attack. Walking keeps your heart healthy by lowering low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (the “bad” cholesterol) and raising high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (the “good” cholesterol). A regular walking program also reduces your risk of developing high blood pressure, a factor that also contributes to heart disease.

Manage your blood pressure. If you already have high blood pressure, walking may reduce it.
Reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Regular exercise reduces your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. If you’re a woman, overweight and at a high risk of diabetes, walking can improve your body’s ability to process sugar (glucose tolerance).

Manage your diabetes. If you already have type 2 diabetes, taking part in a regular walking program can improve your body’s ability to process sugar, lower your blood sugar, reduce your risk of heart disease and help you live longer.

Manage your weight. Walking burns calories, which can help you manage your weight. For example, middle-aged women who walk more than 10,000 steps a day have lower levels of body fat than do women who are less active.

Manage stress and boost your spirits. Going for a brisk walk is a great way to reduce stress. Regular walking also can reduce feelings of depression and anxiety.

Stay strong and active. As you get older, walking for physical fitness can prevent falls, help you stay mobile and maintain your independence.

Prepare yourself before you go walking
Take time to prepare yourself to prevent injuries, such as blisters on your feet or muscle pain.
Wear walking shoes and comfortable, protective clothingBefore you set out, be sure to select comfortable footwear. Also dress in loosefitting, comfortable clothing and in layers if you need to adjust to changing temperature. If you walk outside, choose clothes appropriate for the weather. Avoid rubberized materials, as they don’t allow perspiration to evaporate. Wear bright colors or reflective tape after dark so that motorists can see you.

Warm up
Spend about five minutes walking slowly to warm up your muscles. You can walk in place if you want. Increase your pace until you feel warm. Warming up your muscles reduces your risk of injury.

Stretch
After warming up, stretch your muscles for about five minutes before walking. Include the calf stretch, quadriceps stretch, hamstring stretch, lower back flexion stretch and chest stretch.

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Posted by Tuan Rumah at 9:59 AM 7 comments  
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