Everyone knows that exercise is essential for good health. Our bodies require both physical and mental exercise to maintain good health. There are many ways to exercise, but only a few low stress ways to exercise.
A low physical stress activity that is easily available to all is walking. A brisk 30 minute walk on a daily basis will improve our blood circulation as well as our lung function. Walking also burns calories and helps us to maintain an optimum weight. Walking is usually not harsh on the body’s joints or any other body parts.
When walking, try to exercise in an area with relatively clean air and try to avoid hard pavement when possible. Grass or dirt is preferable to concrete or asphalt.
The idea is to walk fast enough for one’s heartbeat to achieve between 50% and 75% of the maximum. When first starting a walking exercise program it is best to establish a goal of 50% of one’s maximum heartbeat and then gradually work up to 75% .
It is easy to determine the maximum heartbeat for a healthy person. It is 220 minus your age. A healthy 30 year-old person’s maximum heartbeat would be 220-30 = 190. In this example, of a 30 year-old person just starting a walking for health program, the goal is to maintain a heartbeat of 50% of maximum or 95 beats per minute.
To check your heartbeat, stop momentarily and place two fingers on your carotid artery located on your neck on either side of the center (Adams apple). You then simply count the beats for 10 seconds and multiply by six. If the heartbeat is too fast, it would be prudent to slow down a bit or if it is too slow then one should increase their walking pace.
The idea with any walking for health program is to start slowly and then gradually increase the pace or duration of the walk. The positive health benefits of a walking program, in addition to the obvious improvements in heart and lung health, are that one will sleep more restfully and be able to more effectively engage in activities that require concentration. The benefits of walking for better health are well documented and it is an activity that can be done individually or with family and friends. Have fun and achieve better health!
Tips For Making Walking More Enjoyable
Walk with friends. Find an exercise buddy that will go walking with you. This allows you to talk and enjoy good company while you are walking.
Listen to music. Find some great music to listen to while you walk, and put it on your MP3 player or portable CD player.
Find scenic walking trails. You likely have some parks or trails near you that would offer you great scenery while you walk. Walking alongside a river or stream can be particularly enjoyable.
Walk your pet. If you have a dog, take he or she for walks with you when you go for a walk. You can enjoy a bit of companionship and play with your dog while you walk.