Everyone knows how important exercise is for our overall health, not to mention how we feel about ourselves — which is also very important. Popular exercise plans often promise six pack abs, sculpted glutes and a lean silhouette if you work harder than you ever have and consume less than has ever satisfied you; neither of which are sustainable. However, it is possible to get the results without the strain of intense training. Are you looking to bulk up or slim down? If you have athletic ambitions or you want to increase your strength, then weight training and strenuous aerobics will be the sport for you. But for those who want to be slim and healthy, then walking is ideal.
All Around Benefits
Not only is walking enjoyable, it is cheap and also encourages socialization.
It is great for body sculpting too. Walking melts fat off the whole body–be it the abdomen, upper arms and hips. The reason walking is fat burning is because it is aerobic. This means it increases circulation, it increases the oxygenation of cells, it detoxifies, and it increases metabolism. The areas of highest fat concentration melt away first. Taking regular walks is really the answer to a firm and slim body. But we don’t mean the casual afternoon stroll–you can’t expect to get the benefits without achieving moderate pace.
If you are going to use walking as a way to trim your body, you going to need to up your pace, lengthen your stride, swing your arms and increase the walking pace. If you want fat to melt away, you have to raise your heartbeat and keep it raised for at least half an hour. If you do this, you will notice a slimmer and more toned physique in a matter of weeks!
Walking is low impact; it doesn’t damage the joints.
Walking is more effective against cancer and other diseases too, than extreme intense exercises. The high-intensity workouts can put stress on the body, and that can be detrimental to your health. You may have heard of strong young people dropping dead from heart attacks after a marathon or a lot of jogging. It is better to take it at an easier pace, but for longer periods. You will see your weight improve and you will reap health benefits too, for sure!
Have you got comfortable walking shoes with cushioned soles? Buy yourself good ones and do your feet a favor – you will feel like you are walking on air. You won’t regret spending a bit extra on good walking shoes.
Sedentary lives out, get the walking shoes on!
Modern home and work environments mean that we spend large parts of our day’s sitting, particularly when we have office jobs. Sedentary lifestyles definitely can contribute to weight gain and also increase your risk of health problems. One study estimated that in order for you to maintain a stable weight, you need to walk at least 150 minutes a week – remember to keep it brisk. And if you want to increase the intensity of your walk and burn even more calories, then you can try walking on routes that have hills and slight inclines.
When people cut their calories to lose weight, they can lose muscle in addition to body fat. Since muscle burns fat losing muscle is a bit counterproductive. Muscle is metabolically more active than fat; it helps you burn more calories each day. Toning and resistance exercises, which includes walking, help to counter the effects of muscle loss by preserving lean muscle as you lose weight. It helps to reduce the drop in your metabolic rate that occurs so often with weight loss, making your weight loss efforts easier to maintain. Walking also reduces age-related muscle loss, helping you retain your muscle strength and function as well.
An effective way of reducing belly fat is to regularly participate in aerobic exercises and that means plenty of walking. One study showed how obese women who walked 3 times a week for 50-70 minutes reduced their waist circumferences by 1.1 inch. They also lost 1.5% of their body fat too.
Apart from helping you to lose weight, walking has other benefits too. It boosts your mood, decreasing feelings of stress, anxiety and depression. It makes your brain more sensitive to the hormones norepinephrine and serotonin – it is these hormones which relieve the feelings of depression and stimulate the release of endorphins, making you feel happy. Get out and walk!