Walking is an incredible form of exercise which can be carried out by most people. It’s a low impact workout which carries a very low risk of injury. It is an activity that can easily be added to your current workout routine or a way to get started on the path to reach your workout goals.Walking regularly will keep you physically healthy. Fitness experts and physicians agree that even a short walk can do wonders for the human body. It can strengthen the cardiovascular system by exercising the heart, and it reduces blood pressure and increases circulation. It is reasonably aerobic (increases your oxygen intake and lung capacity) and of course is low impact – it’s easy on the feet, ankles and knees. Regular walking strengthens your muscular and skeletal systems and reduces the likelihood of arthritis and other bone and muscle disorders that come with aging. It helps lower the bad cholesterol and increase the good, and it decreases the risk of developing type II diabetes. Walking for fitness can also help you lose weight.
Walking is also good for your mental health. It is known to improve your mood and decrease stress levels. That effect alone is priceless in today’s world, and those benefits multiply because lower stress and better mood make your body healthier as well. The simple act of walking increases your energy and slows the aging process.
If you’ve added walking to your exercise routine for awhile, you may want to try adding a little weight to your walk. Try adding ankle weights and/or compact hand weights. The additional weight will create more resistance during your walk to burn more. Just make sure you start off very light, especially around the ankles.
You can also try to change up your routine by adding some exercises within your walk. After walking for 15 minutes you can stop and stretch for 5 minutes along the wall. Throw in some jumping jacks or push-ups to keep your blood moving. If you can carry a jump rope with you, you can stop in the middle of your walk for a jump rope session that is high-intensity and great for your heart.
Modify your route to keep things fresh. Adding hills to your walk will help you burn more calories than flat terrain. You can also try different surfaces, pavement, trails or the beach. Walking in sand will increase the amount of calories burned by 50%. That can help with faster weight loss, or help if you’ve hit a plateau.
With all the benefits of this easy exercise there is no reason to not get out and start walking today. Remember to also pay attention to your diet. Exercise helps, but only when it’s combined with a sensible diet will you see the results you want. Like all exercise routines, make sure you stay hydrated when walking. Carry a water bottle with you and fill up when needed. Talk to your trainer about the best walking routine for you.
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