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  • Walking for Exercise

    Walking is one of the best and easiest ways to stay fit and healthy. It is simple, easy and just about anyone can do it anytime and anywhere. A natural activity suitable for people of all ages, walking is also one of the easiest exercises to maintain while camping or exploring the great outdoors. According to the American Heart Association, walking is the "simplest positive change you can make to effectively improve your heart health." 
     
    Walking for Exercise

    Low-Impact

    Walking is a very low-impact exercise and because of this, the risks of side effects are low. Build your endurance and strength by gradually increasing your mileage and duration. Make sure you warm up! According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, you should walk at a normal pace for five minutes to begin your walk. After this warm-up, do some muscle stretching exercises that include the calves, hamstrings and quadriceps. As you start to walk, gradually increase your speed until your heart is beating faster and your lungs are breathing deeper.

     

    Weight Loss

    If you are trying to lose weight, walking is an aerobic activity that can help you burn calories. However, to effectively lose those excess pounds, you must burn more calories than you consume.

    Pace

    According to Richard Weil, an exercise physiologist and and certified diabetes educator, a good average walking speed is 3 to 4 miles per hour. If you are out of shape, it is okay to start at a slower pace and build your speed up by walking regularly. Remeber to cool down at the end of your walk. Slow to your normal walking pace and maintain that speed for five minutes. Perform gentle stretching exercises after your cool down.

    Well-Being

    Walking is a great way to stay fit but also to prevent depression, lower stress levels, and elevate your overall mood and sense of well-being.

    Health Benefits

    Walking for exercise has many health benefits such as strengthening your heart, your muscles, bones and joints. It also helps to control your blood pressure and prevent type 2 diabetes.

    Considerations

    You don't need any extra equipment for walking, which makes it the most convenient form of exercise possible. No matter where you are, as long as you can stand up and have a little space, you can walk.

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