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Physical Inactivity    http://www.smartgrowthamerica.org/health.html

Only about one-quarter of Americans get the recommended amount of exercise. This lack of inactivity has contributed to the obesity epidemic and is a factor in more than 200,000 deaths a year. Yet we build our communities in ways that discourage, rather than encourage, everyday physical activity. As a recent headline in USA Today put it: "City, suburban designs could be bad for your health."

People who live in spread out, sprawling areas are less likely to have easy opportunities to get physical activity in the course of a day. They may live in housing subdivisions that are isolated from stores, schools, or other destinations that they or their children may want to reach on foot.

Neighborhood streets may not connect to each other, but only to busy high-speed arterial roads that are unpleasant or even unsafe for walking or biking. Transit service may be infrequent or too far away. And the many places they need to visit in a day may be many miles apart, but with convenient parking just steps from the front door. That means the most obvious and practical way to get everything done is via automobile.

Medical research shows that walking and similar moderate physical activity is important to maintaining weight and bestows many other health benefits, including lowering the risk of diabetes, stroke, and heart attack. Studies show that people in sprawling places walk less. Public health advocates have launched a major initiative to create "active living communities" - places where people can integrate physical activity into their daily lives as they bicycle to work, walk to shops, and climb stairs at the office. To find out more, visit the
Active Living Network and Active Living by Design

Discover the Benefits of Walking for Exercise

Walking for exercise is about as old-school as it gets

The many benefits of walking for exercise should should become a prime issue in today's society, because there are so many health benefits of walking for exercise that comes with when walking. Most important is the reduction of an overweighted body and general improvement of health. In these days everyone wants to lose weight in any form of exericse walking. Wheter they're trying that new all meat diet, or simply start counting calories, the diet craze isn't going anywhere. While many people desire those modern shortcuts that typically lead no where, others take care for their health more seriously. A basic key to staying more fit is simple to start walking program. Fitness walking is about as old-school as it gets. It may be an oldie, but it's definitely a goody. 

Benefits of Fitness walking

Regular walking exercise are the basics to develop or maintain physical fitness and overall health. Studies have shown, that frequent and regular physical exercise is an important component in the prevention of some of the diseases of affluence such as infections, cancer, high blood pressure and heart disease, cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes and obesity.

How much walking will put me in active labor?

Sadly we live in a society based on convenience. There are a lot of people who want to exercise anymore. As an perfect example of this theory you can visit your local shopping mall or grocery store. When you creep through the parking lot, watch every car try and get that space closest to the entrance. You can see it a million times. Even if it’s a gorgeous day and there are spaces galore toward the back. People would rather wait for that car that’s about to back out, and then snag that closer space. Don’t they know that a five minutes walk is ideal. If more people would walk more, repeat exercise or doing other activities and drive less, most of them would be in a much better health situation. After visiting some other countries in Europe, one thing I noticed is that people who walk often are in better shape. This is because they embrace daily walking into better health. Whether it’s intentional or not, it benefits regardless as you walk.

How can walking help maintain healthy bones

Walking is a wonderful aerobic exercise. It is perfect for beginner. They should start with, because heart rate and breathing are normal while walking. The benefits of walking for exercise are that it includes sustained, repeated, rhythmic workout for large muscle groups. This type of exercise requires oxygen to burn many calories while the muscles work. It’s really easy how to start it. You can do it in the most popular local mall or on the sidewalk. Granted, it’s usually some sort of power stride, but it’s still walking. The great thing about getting in shape is that it doesn’t have to cost you money. Think about it. You spend less on groceries if you eat less, and there’s no charge whenever you are walking for fitness. This is pretty choice, but most people don’t really consider it. If you look online, you will see a variety of websites that offer information activities, such as aerobics training, fitness and exercising. Walking can still regarded as one of the greatest forms of exercise. You can actually tally up the calories burned when doing this simple metabolism booster.

The Benefits of walking for exercise improve health and reduce body weight

Physical inactivity is a serious problem of the whole nation. Your doctor or if you have another professional will recommend at least 30 minutes exercise of moderate intensity a day for overall health benefits. It may be a good idea to break it down and work out 3 sessions of 10 minutes walking in a day. According to scientists at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, women who walk 30 minutes a day reduced their risk of stroke by 20 percent, even by 40 percent when they stepped up the pace.

The benefits of walking for exercise include also Relaxation and Stimulation

Overall, walking exercises are an old way to stay fit, but still a perfect one. Our daily routines call for a number of a few minute walk if we think about it. How often could you possibly walk as opposed to driving? This is something to consider in order to achieve better health. Even if your typical day doesn’t call for walking, take a fun stroll anyhow. Any workout of a few minutes speed walking activity gives you great cardiovascular workouts, gets your heart rate up, reduces cholesterol, builds muscle and burns fat. Begin today, start to walk at least part of your way to and from work. Take away from elevator and climb stairs instead. It will just make you feel better.

Gaiam.com, Inc

Did You Know Walking Can -  


·     Help you lose weight

·     Give you more energy

·     Help you to sleep better

·     Keep your heart strong

·     Help to reduce stress

·     Make you feel good

Walking can help protect you from some of the most dangerous illnesses - heart disease, stroke, diabetes, obesity, osteoporosis and bowel cancer.
Walking reduces blood pressure, lowers the levels of " bad LDL " cholesterol in your blood, tones up your muscles and strengthens your bones.
A study carried out in America on more than 3000 people who were at risk of developing 'late onset' diabetes found that a 30 minute walk, five days a week cut their risk of developing this form of diabetes by more than half and on average they lost 15lbs in weight.
Regular walking can reduce your weight by the safe rate of one pound every three weeks - you can achieve this weight loss by walking two miles a day on three days a week. Because muscle weighs more than fat and regular exercise builds muscle as opposed to fat - the benefits of walking are not just weight loss but you look more trim by toning muscles. It can also improve posture helping you to look slimmer and fitter without losing any weight.

You Don't Need Expensive Equipment

 A pair of comfortable shoes that provide good support is very important. Casual shoes with heavy rubber soles. Good running shoes such as trainers with heavy soles) are good walking shoes, as are some of the lighter walking boots. If walking over uneven hilly ground a hiking boot with more support is recommended. Whatever kind of shoe you select, it should have arch supports and should elevate the heel slightly. Make sure there is adequate room for your toes.
Wearing layers will enable you to both keep warm, as the air is trapped between the layers of clothing, and also let you take layers off as you start to get warm. Aim to carry a waterproof jacket and hat in case the weather turns cold and wet, or if you meet another walker who may have had an injury, and needs to stay warm.

Before You Start
Make sure that you are ready physically by seeing your doctor, especially if you have been sedentary for a while, and have any condition which could be affected by exercise, such as high blood pressure. Prepare your route, what you are wearing and learn how to deal with any emergencies.

Build Up Your Walking

 Week 1 two walks of ten minutes on three days per week.
Week 2 and 3 two walks of 15 minutes on four days per week.
Week 4 two walks of 15 minutes on 4 days per week
Week 5 - 9 two walks of 15 minutes per day on four days a week. Try to increase your pace slightly or include a route which has some inclines or low hills. Aim to go walking on 5 days per week.
Week 10 onwards aim for a brisk pace and challenge yourself with steeper inclines or hills.

Brisk Is Best
To gain health benefits, walking should be brisk. You need to walk fast enough to make you slightly breathless and feel warm.
Allow your arms to swing freely and rhythmically - your arm speed controls your leg speed. Remember to bend your arms gently at the elbow towards a 90o angle.
Quicker, smaller steps will cover more ground, then long strides, which tire your muscles. Resist the temptation to lengthen your stride to go faster.
Walk tall with your head up and looking ahead - avoid bending over, looking down on the floor.
Control your breathing, take full breaths and exhale completely.
When walking uphill, take smaller strides, leaning into the hill.
Listen to your body when you walk - if you feel dizzy or develop pain or nausea slow down or stop. If the problem persists see your doctor before walking again.

To maintain health with regular physical activity: Walk for 20 - 30+ minutes' duration's most days of the week at a "talking" pace.
Weight management: Walk for 30 - 45+ minutes at a comfortable pace for as many days as possible. Aim to keep the pace constant, being able to talk throughout, however finish slightly out of breath.
Cardiovascular fitness: Walk 20+ minutes at a fast pace, ideally over slightly hilly terrain, aim for 2-3 sessions per week, increasing both your breathing and heart rate, whilst staying in a comfortable condition.
Exercise should never be painful, if you feel any severe pain, see you doctor immediately, telling them your symptoms.
If you are already fairly fit brisk walking say of around 3 miles per hour for a fit person, may not be enough to increase your pulse rate and provide sufficient cardiovascular exercise - you may need to speed up a bit. You can do this either by -
Walking longer - instead of your normal 20 - 30 minutes per day, walk for 45 minutes to an hour. Vary the pace and intensity of your walk to get the most benefit.
Walking faster - walk fast enough to make you feel a little breathless and warm.
Walking higher - choose a route that includes steps or hills. Walking up a ten per cent incline can almost double the energy value of walking.


Keep Going!

 Keeping motivated is very important.
Decide on a manageable target for the first month. Walk with a friend. Vary your route.


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