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Walking Works Wonders

Thursday, March 21, 2013


Walking can reduce your risk of heart disease, improves blood sugar and blood pressure, strengthens bones, helps with weight loss, keeps your brain sharp and helps relieve stress. The key to success in all of those areas is to keep the work effort strong, focused and steady. You can do this by:

1.Use a pedometer. Consumer Reports on Health states that a study in the Annals of Family Medicine showed that older adults who wore a step-counting device as part of a recommended exercise program ended up walking 50 minutes a week over a year compared to 28 minutes in a group that didnít use a pedometer.
2.Utilize a phone app that helps gauge your distance. Make it into a contest with yourself.
3.Use music as a motivator. Keeping up to pace with a song, takes your mind off the effort being made, and boosts your mood.
4.Use hand-weights, or a weighted vest to boost your calorie burn. This should only be used after you have built up your endurance, and if you have health issues, your doctor should approve their use.
5.Try to create a walking group in your neighborhood or office community. Studies have found that working out with others can boost your attendance and work effort.
6.Try to walk outside in the fresh air. If the weather in your area cooperates, fresh air can encourage deeper breathing with is always healthier for your body and your work effort.
7.Try to integrate hills. Hills provide a higher calorie burn, but should be added when you have a strong base strength. Hills can provide strong calf and hamstring growth as well (you may be sore when you start).
8.Add sprints. After you have a strong base endurance, work in sprints to kick up your cardio-burn. Studies have shown that short sprints, with short breaks between lead to a longer metabolic burn after the exercise is done. You reduce the total time of exercise when doing sprints. Donít do them day after day or weeks in a row. Sprinkle them in your program to stoke your effort.
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    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.