Walking: Your First Step to Better Health
Your First Step to Better Health?
Take a walk!
An activity as simple as walking can add years to your life, and it couldn’t be more convenient! You don’t need to join a health club, purchase special equipment, or be particularly fit at the outset to reap its many rewards. You’ll find that walking:
- Improves health: Walking conditions your heart and lungs and increases your body’s ability to use oxygen more efficiently. In one study, women who walked briskly at least three hours a week cut their risk of heart attack and stroke by more than half!
- Lessens risk: Walking reduces your risk of cancer and other forms of osteoporosis. It can also shed pounds and help you fight the “battle of the bulge!” Walking can even help people with diabetes reduce or eliminate their need for medication.
- Minimizes physical stress: Walking can burn as many calories per mile as jogging, but it delivers just one quarter of the jolt – so it’s much easier on your joints and muscles!
- Lightens your mood: Walking reduces mental stress. Beginning walkers often report they feel better, sleep more soundly and improve their overall mental outlook.
- Offers added advantages: Walking has the lowest dropout rate of any form of exercise. So once you start, you’re more likely to stick with it and gain benefits such as better digestion, improved regularity and lower blood pressure.
“Just put on a sturdy pair of shoes and take a walk around your neighborhood or, in inclement weather, at a nearby mall or on a treadmill,” says, Donna L. Henshue, RN, for Morningstar Senior Living’s Life Care Community, Moravian Hall Square in Nazareth, PA. “How fast? Move at a steady but safe clip that makes your heart beat faster and causes you to breathe more deeply, but doesn’t leave you too breathless to carry on a conversation.