The increasing trend towards inactivity has led to all sorts of health risks, the most common being obesity. In America alone, it is estimated that one out of every three Americans are overweight. The tendency towards a sedentary lifestyle has also led to an increase in the incidence of osteoporosis (weakened bones) and arthritis among those above the age of sixty-five. The sad part is, the solution to this is quite simple.
Exercise – It doesn’t have to be done at the gym or even strenuous, but it does have to be done regularly to be effective.
Walking has been an underrated form of exercise in the past. Gym buffs see walking merely as a way to get from one place to another. What they don’t know is that walking is actually a better exercise than lifting weights. The number one reason for this is that walking, as an exercise, is easy to stick to.
Aerobics and weight training may burn more calories but studies have shown that more people are bound to stick to walking than either of the two as a weight loss exercise program. Studies have also shown that weight-bearing activities like walking makes heavier individuals will burn more calories than lighter persons. Older people especially like this exercise as it doesn’t quite hurt their joints as much as other exercises do since it’s a low impact sort of exercise. High impact exercises include jogging and running. The fact that it decreases their chances of developing osteoarthritis is also an added bonus.
Around three years ago, the American Heart Association published a study that recommended at least half an hour or more of moderate intensity physical activity on most, or preferably all, days of the week. Walking fits this bill perfectly. What’s more is that walking doesn’t have to feel like an exercise.
To include walking as part of your daily routine, simply opt to walk to places you need to go instead of taking your car. You can walk to work (if you happen to work within a mile or two of your home), to the convenience store, or to the gym. Walking for a sustained period of time is a great way to improve your cardiopulmonary fitness. The risk of developing heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and colon and breast cancers can be significantly reduced simply by increasing your daily activity.
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by Ryan Mutt