Learn about all of the Benefits of Walking

Calories Lost Walking


Walking To Exercise For Fitness

Calories Lost WalkingFor years it was believed that exercise for fitness had to be very strenuous to have any noticeable benefit. However, it is now recognized that something as simple as walking can be as efficient as more rigorous activities. The key is the type of walking you do. Simply strolling is better than nothing; it at least gets you moving and keeps your joints limber. But if you're walking to exercise for fitness, you'll need to step up the pace. Depending on your current health and your fitness goals, you can choose from brisk walking, power walking, and pole walking.Brisk walking can help you lose weight, improve your mood, manage Type 2 diabetes, lower blood pressure, and normalize cholesterol. Done consistently, it is as effective for reducing the risk of heart attack as jogging. (Mayo Clinic) As a weight-bearing exercise, it also contributes to strong bones and reduces risk from osteoporosis. All it takes is a good, supportive pair of walking shoes and enough space to work up to a good pace.To gain the benefits of brisk walking, your speed should be fast enough to raise your heart rate, but still allow you to comfortably carry on a conversation. After a five to ten minute warm-up at a slower pace, increase to the brisk pace and maintain it for at least 30 minutes. You'll get best results from engaging in the activity no fewer than five days a week.The next level of walking for fitness is power walking. At this level you can burn almost as many calories as jogging (Prevention Magazine) but without the jarring impact on your joints. In one study, women who incorporated three power walks per week into their walking routines lost five times as much belly fat than women whose workouts consisted of only brisk walking -- even though they burned the same number of calories. (Prevention Magazine)To take your workout to the power walking level, do your warm-up walk, then bend your elbows and swing your arms as you stride energetically. Strive for a pace of four miles an hour, an intensity at which conversation is no longer comfortable.Pole walking gives you all the benefits of power walking and then some. Adding poles to your walking routine involves more muscles of the upper body, so you burn more calories and tone your upper body as well as your legs. Additionally, the poles provide stability and relieve some of the load from the hips and knees, which may make it easier for older people to take part.Walking with poles results in a greater aerobic workout without having to walk any faster. Even though using the poles raises the heart rate higher and burns more calories than walking without poles, walkers don't perceive the exertion as harder. It has also been reported to relieve neck and shoulder pain. (Nordic Pole Walking USA Connecticut)To pole walk correctly, it is best to get some instruction so you'll get the most from your efforts. You'll learn the proper length for your poles and the most effective techniques. Generally, walking with poles is like power walking, except that you will push down and back on the poles to propel yourself more powerfully with each stride.There's no longer any excuse for not working out. Walking to exercise makes improved fitness accessible to nearly everyone. Start where you are and do as much as you can do. As your fitness improves, step up to the next level of walking and you'll be taking positive steps toward better health.By Nancy Shepherd - Nancy Shepherd was born in Wooster, Ohio, and grew up roaming the surrounding countryside. She has three children, seven grandchildren, and two cats. Nancy backpacked the 2, 100-mile Appalachian Trail in 2001...