Walking is easily the most popular form of exercise. An individual walks for a lot of reasons. It can be for fun, to get rid of stress, an opportunity to soul search or to simply go from one place to another. It is safe to say that almost everybody who walks habitually, at least in part, believes that it is excellent exercise.
Walking has recently achieved new value as a means of enhancing fitness. Research shows that walking done regularly can suddenly develop the body’s capacity to utilize oxygen, it lowers the resting rate of the heart, lowers blood pressure and increases the efficiency of the lungs. It also helps burn surplus calories.
In view of the fact that obesity and hypertension are major risk factors for stroke and heart attack, walking provides protection from these two of our biggest killers. Walking helps maintain good health and almost anyone can do it almost anywhere!
Walking can burn up just about the same total calories for every mile as running, an especially appealing benefit to those who have trouble maintaining a jog for long distances. Brisk walking a mile in fifteen minutes burns approximately the same total calories as jogging the same distance in eight and a half minutes.
In weight-bearing activities such as walking, heavier people burn extra calories compared to lighter people. For instance, a study shows that a person of 110 pounds burns approximately 1/2 the total calories as a 216 pound individual walking at an equal pace for a similar distance.
Even though increasing the speed of walking does not burn many more calories for each mile, a more dynamic walking rate produces more dramatic effects of conditioning. When you look at the advantages, it enhances lung and heart endurance to an extent depending on their initial level of fitness. A person starting in poor condition may benefit from slow walking while a person in better condition needs to go faster to reap the benefits.
The latest research shows that there are enduring benefits to doing vigorous exercise. A dynamic workout results in a higher than normal metabolic rate, which translates to more calories burned.
In a number of weight loss studies, walking in fact has been confirmed to be more effectual than running and other highly touted efforts. This is because it is essentially injury-free and it has the lowest failure rate compared to other forms of exercise.
Walking is not as strenuous as running, cycling or swimming, and has less health hazards. The more often you walk, the faster you will get. Three workouts a week is considered a maintenance level of exercise. For a more rapid benefit, walking more often will show results.
As with other forms of exercise, walking has a significant psychological payoff. It relieves stress and can give one the opportunity to think things through and clear one’s head.
All in all walking is a supurb form of exercise that most can do in some form. For the wonderful benefits it provides, lace up those althletic shoes and hit the pavement!