Your Feet Are Made for Walking

Walk? Dogs wag their tails at the mere mention of the word. People, on the
other hand, often take for granted this activity that is so good for the body,
mind and soul.

Fitness and health don't always require drastic measures. Walking can do
wonders. It reduces the risk of coronary disease and stroke. It lowers blood
pressure and reduces cholesterol levels in blood. It helps prevent osteoporosis
by increasing bone density, and helps manage the negative effects of
osteoarthritis. It even eases back pain.

Walking also helps with weight management. A 30-minute walk covers a distance
of 2.0 to 2.5 km and burns about 125 calories. A routine of five of these walks
per week would burn 32,000 calories within one year - that's 5 kg of fat!

If you're ready to start a walking routine, the following tips will help:

Good posture.

To get the best out of walking, keep your head and spine straight. Look
straight ahead, while paying attention to the ground in case of obstacles.
Relax your shoulders and arms, letting them swing naturally.

Breathe easy.

While you walk, your breath should be regular, steady, and not too shallow.
Don't hold your breath, and don't force yourself to breathe deeply.

Choose a comfortable tempo.

Walk slowly for the first five minutes to warm up, then gradually work up to
your desired cruising speed. Slow down for 3 to 5 minutes to cool down at the
end of your walk.

Set a routine.

To enjoy the cumulative effects of walking, do it every day. Remember that the
longer you break between walks, the lower the cumulative effects will be.

Walking shouldn't hurt.

If you feel any pain, either check that you're wearing the proper footwear or
consult a medical or fitness expert.

Walking doesn't require any fancy gear.

All you need are comfortable clothing suitable for the weather conditions, and
a good pair of walking shoes. There are specialty walking shoes on the market,
but any shoes you can comfortably walk in for an extended time will do. Once
walking becomes a regular part of your daily fitness regimen, it will improve
the quality of your life and may even improve your longevity. Take a tip from
Fido: love your walks.

More info

AplusA-online.de - Source: Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety