Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Walking: The Easiest Exercise

Walking is the simplest way to get fit, stay in shape and strengthen your heart and bones. Walk at a brisk pace while enjoying your surroundings, breathing fresh air and, spending time with a friend or family member is fun and good for you.

Make an effort to walk more such as parking your car far from the entrance to a store, pace or walk in place while doing chores try to beat your time each day. Most exercise experts recommend 30 minutes of activity most days of the week, and walking is a great way to get it. Taking 10,000 steps over the course of a day is roughly equivalent to 30 minutes of moderately vigorous exercise. Walking one mile burns approximately 100 calories. Walking is simply one of the easiest and safest activities for burning calories and tuning up the cardiovascular system.

If you’re just starting a walking program, begin the first week by walking 20 minutes three times a week. For the next few weeks, increase your time to 30 minutes. As you feel more energetic and fit, add an extra session or two to your weekly walking program. Try to work up to five sessions a week, for 30 to 45 minutes each time and remember to walk at a good pace, too. Here are some additional tips:

• Wear sturdy athletic shoes.

• Keep your head level as you walk and look straight ahead.

• Bend your elbows at about a 90-degree angle and keep them close to your sides. Swing your arms back and forth as you walk.

• Let your heel strike the ground first, and then roll from the heel to the ball of your foot. Push off with the ball of your foot for more momentum.

• Take long, smooth strides.Walk as briskly as you can.

• Breathe deeply but naturally as you walk.

Finally, make your walk meaningful. Look around. Enjoy your surroundings. Have fun.