Walking, It’s free, it’s relaxing, and it can be very enjoyable. Whether you are out in the fresh air or on a treadmill in a gym, walking is one of the best ways to decrease the susceptibility to certain diseases, loose weight and ease stress. It’s one thing you can do alone or with others. The benefits are the same either way. It strengthens you leg muscles and internal organs like your heart and lungs. Some of the diseases it can help prevent are heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, and helps increase good cholesterol.
A 180 lb. person who walks 2 m.p.h. burns 102 calories an hour, whereas, the same sized person who walks 3.5 m.p.h. only burns 94 calories an hour. As you gain strength and increase speed the amount of calories drops until you reach approximately 4 m.p.h. At 4 m.p.h. calories burned, for the same 180 lb. person, go back up to 102 calories per hour and increase from there. Work up to walking about 30 minutes a day, five days a week. You can check out calories burned on the web by putting ‘Calories Burned Walking’ in the search box. Several sites will come into view.
Things to remember when beginning a walking plan. First, check with your doctor to be sure you are able to participate. Wear good shoes and comfortable clothes. Start slow by setting goals such as increasing your time each walk. Buy a pedometer so you can count your steps. Find a way to stay motivated, like taking the dog for a walk or find a friend to walk with. Don’t walk on cement sidewalks, stick with gravel, paved roads, sand (walk on the beach :-)) With all of this to begin your plan, good walking and good health.
Remember, if you have fibromyalgia or other disabling condition start VERY gradually. My doctor told me, “Once around the block to start, then add another block and another block and another…”. Also, as you increase your distance increase the speed slightly as you walk and back off for a couple of days if you get too sore. Having to start from the beginning isn’t the end of the world. I’ve done it many times since I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia in 1996; just keep trying.
Walking for Exercise