Walking is one of the best ways to maintain good physical health, especially for today’s stressed out workers. Increasingly, people are taking time out during lunch or in the evenings to take a walk. From improving the mood to decreasing heart disease risk, walking is a low-impact activity for everyone, young and old.
If you walk for 30 minutes, 5 days a week you can get excellent health benefits. You can separate your routine into smaller segments of 45 minutes three times a week. Take the time to get out and enjoy walking and you’ll reap the rewards.
Benefits of Walking
- Increases blood flow and circulation
- Increased oxygen intake
- Increased metabolism
- Improve mood and energy
- Minimal wear and tear on joints and ligaments
- Improves muscle tone
- Relaxing form of exercise
- Improves mental creativity
Those who can’t go for a walk outdoors (such as during winter) still have the option of using indoor tracks or treadmills at gyms. Although walking isn’t as effective as other exercise routines in developing good conditioning, you can walk anytime, anywhere, and avoid the injuries associated with jogging, weight lifting, mountain biking, roller skating, tennis or golf. Walking and golf have a lot in common, however many golf courses are becoming sources of stress, as management try to push through as many golfers as possible during the day. Many courses even require golfers to use power carts.
Pedometers and Activity Monitors
Walkers are increasingly using pedometers and activity monitors to count the number of steps they’ve taken and to calculate their steps per minute. Training regimens often advise reaching a step per minute goal (often referred to as pace or pitch) as a way to maximize the benefits of walking.
Walking is much more relevant to the greater population than other more strenuous sports. Our aging population is more likely to be in poor physical condition with a variety of physiological problems such as diabetes, osteoporosis, obesity, tendonitis, arthritis, and perhaps even heart disease. Going for a walk at your own pace is the most sensible, health inducing activity they can partake in.
Walking can become strenuous if you live near hills and if you increase your walking pace. To gain the best benefit from walking you need to increase your walking time to least 45 minutes and get your heart rate up to a level that will benefit weight loss and conditioning.