Walking is a powerful answer to your exercise questions. The benefits of a consistent walking program include improved circulation, weight loss, improved health, decreased progression of degenerative joint disease and improved oxygen use. Walking is significantly easier to maintain than other programs and you don’t have to find a specific area to do your workout. Use walking to improve your health, feelings of well-being and reduce your stress level.
Believe it or not, although you walk every day, when you start a walking program for exercise you should begin slowly. If you begin too quickly you risk an injury, like in any other exercise program.
This is a wonderful routine for people who have been sedentary or who have a significant amount of weight to lose. Walking is a good exercise when you are recovering from an injury or doing rehabilitation.
The drop out rate in a walking exercise program is significantly lower than in other forms of exercise. It is much easier to get into a habit of walking for 20-30 minutes each day than it is to form a habit using aerobics, running, swimming or cycling. In each of these other sports you are required to specialized equipment or clothing and do the work out in a specific location.
When you are walking your routine can happen where you’d like! Walking can be done indoors or outdoors. Many shopping malls open early in the morning so that people can walk indoors. Of course the merchants also understand that the walkers are likely to make a purchase or two when the stores open. You can also use a treadmill to walk in your own home or the gym.
Walking is inexpensive – a pair of supportive shoes and any clothing you’d like. And it is convenient. Walking gives you time to be introspective each day. Many people find this is the most creative time of their day because they are no longer pulled by outside influences.
Walking with a partner allows you to have some time to socialize as well as exercise. When you are walking you should always be able to hold a conversation or you are expending too much energy and should slow down. By increasing the intensity of walking too quickly you actually lose the benefits.
When you begin a program keep several things in mind. Make a commitment to yourself. Set a short-term (4-6 week) goal to achieve. Write the goal down and look at it often. Keep your commitment; it’s the only way to achieve your goals.
Although it may not feel necessary, walk with a bottle of water and stay hydrated. When you walk you don’t sweat as profusely as you do with other exercise but you also can work out longer than you might when you are running. The sweat loss isn’t as evident – but you still must drink to maintain your hydration.
I can be very easy to get bored with your walking routine when you use the same routes and times each day. Vary the route and the time of day if you can. The terrain looks different at dawn than it does at 2 pm. Change your routes, include some friends, change the time of day, and change your pace. In other words – keep it interesting. You’ll be more apt to maintain a routine if you don’t get bored.
Walking improves your overall well-being, respiratory system, joints, weight loss and circulation. It’s cheap, easy, convenient, and has a low drop out rate. As far as exercise routines go, it has it all. Walking can make a difference in your life. Try it today!
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