Have you ever stopped to think how much you actually walk every day? We take dozens of little walking trips just to do errands and daily chores. Walking and Jogging is a way of life to some people more than others, it can improve fitness and trim your body. It can also be an enjoyable experience if you have the proper equipment and the proper strategy.
Take brisk 30 to 40 minute walks at least three days a week. Aerobic walking increases the efficiency of your heart and lungs, lowers blood pressure and resting heart rate, relieves stress, raises metabolism, improves muscle tone, and improves the health of the bones. If your pace is too slow, however, you will not get the aerobic benefits.
If you are out of shape, overweight, or older, begin your exercise program with walking, not jogging. Keep your pace slow at first, and then gradually increase the speed of walking. You need to exercise gently and then rest, exercise gently and rest, repeatedly. Gradually you will get fitter and your resting heart rate will decrease. Then your body will be ready to begin jogging, not before. If your goal is to lose fat, exercise for long periods of brisk walking. Duration and frequency are very important.
If you walk at a fast pace over long distances, you need to wear good shoes with a reasonable amount of cushioning. This is especially important for overweight walkers. Walking NEEDS to be comfortable. If your knees and hip joints are constantly uncomfortable at a brisk walking pace, you may do better with hiking, bicycling, or even jogging.
Sudden demands on your muscles, like running up stairs, pedaling a bike, or lifting a heavy weight, may cause the muscles to burn. The burn indicates a build-up of lactic acid in those muscles. Slow walking is the best way to get rid of lactic acid. The more aerobically trained you are, the less you will feel the burn. This means you can exercise longer and harder before getting the burn.
Always warm up for 5 to 10 minutes. Walk slowly and stretch before you start a faster workout. Be sure to cool down for 10 to 15 minutes by strolling and stretching again.
WAU recommends aerobic exercise for a minimum of 20 minutes, three times a week at 60 % of the maximum heart rate. Doing less than this will minimize your health benefits. Exercising four or more times, a week will increase your health benefits. It is up to us as White men and women to insure we are healthy and strong, we will need both when on the streets and for general survival of our folk!
Always check with your healthcare provider before you start an exercise program. Do not forget to choose exercise and fitness activities that you enjoy.