Healthy Living

Is Walking an Effective Workout?

Is Walking an Effective Workout?

Walking has many conveniences; it is a simple form of exercise and does not require any expensive equipment to start or maintain the workout. Moreover, it provides a number of health benefits, including weight loss, lowering of cholesterol, reducing the risk of diseases, and it improves circulation in the body.

Many experts vouch for the fact that exercise doesn't need to be difficult to be effective in bringing about a change. If you are a starter, begin with a stroll for 20 minutes per day for three times a week. This can be gradually increased to 30 minutes session for five times a week. Work on it gradually to improve speed, distance, and heart rate. The optimum heart rate for a good workout is about 70% to 75% of maximum heart rate. Therefore, look at your ability to talk or chat with your friend. For the heart rate to be in the aerobic range of exercise, you should be able to chat briefly using six to eight words without stopping for breath. If the intensity is greater, try to tone it down and if you are able to speak in one breath without any difficulty you need to improve the intensity.

You can sustain the motivation by using a pedometer that will help you to keep a track of the number of steps taken. Just make a mental note of the activities done on the day when you made the maximum number of steps. Add the activities on other days too and improve the number of steps taken in a day. Walking with a friend or partner would help to sustain the routine. Maintain a walking journal so that you can trace your progress in the workout. It will also help to keep a note of the shortcomings in the routine.

If you are already into the routine of walking, you can improve the intensity gradually. Start brisk walking to burn more calories. Pump up the arms while walking and make it more effective. Walking up hill and increasing the inclination of the treadmill are equally good. Walking with a weighted backpack or using a weight vest is also helpful.