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Eight Reasons to Walk

By Terry Mackintosh - from the Walking Shop at Road Runner's Sports

Here are eight good reasons why you need to haul out those walking shoes from the bottom of your closet and get going.

  1. You'll get fitter. Walking is a great cardiovascular activity, requiring only thirty minutes three times a week to obtain a good level of cardiovascular fitness. Numerous studies have shown that walking regularly can result in a significant reduction of the so-called heart risk factors, such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Surely you have 90 minutes a week to spare? Your heart will definitely thank you for it.
  2. You'll lose weight. It has been conclusively shown that walking is effective in burning up calories and increasing metabolic rates and in so doing, helps you lose weight. And, it's a lot more fun than dieting! A study done at the University of Massachusetts Medical School found that walking most definitely helps you trim fat as well as tone up flabby muscles. In this study, it was found that walking four times a week for a mere 45 minutes each time, resulted in an average weight loss of 17 lbs. a year without any form of dietary changes!
  3. It's simple. Walking is an easily accessible activity that can be done anywhere, anytime, anyplace. And, other than a pair of decent walking shoes, no fancy equipment, special clothing or expensive paraphernalia is required.
  4. It's sociable. Walking in a group is sociable and fun. Not only will you get fit but you will meet many interesting and fascinating people too.
  5. You'll be less stressed. We are all subject to stress, but not all of us are capable of finding safe and effective ways of relieving it. Going walking is definitely better than going the cigarette, booze or drugs route. And in addition to stress reduction, you will also gain a greater sense of well-being, better productivity at work and a more intensely experienced sensual life.
  6. It's flexible. You have a great freedom of choice as a walker. You can choose to walk alone, with a group, with your dog, with the maid or with your family. You can walk in the morning, the evening or during lunchtime. You can walk in the rain, the sunshine or indoors on a treadmill. You can walk on the streets, in the park, in the countryside or at the gym. The choices are many and varied.
  7. Everyone can do it. Unless you have major health problems, walking is open to everyone from the very young to the not-so-young. Everyone knows how to walk -- no specialized training or techniques are required unless you opt for race walking.
  8. You will develop exceptional muscle tone. Muscles get more of a workout during walking compared to most other aerobic sports, particularly the leg muscles from the calves to the hamstrings. The gluteals also get a particularly good workout, and it has been said that the tightest and best-looking butts in the sporting world belong to the race walkers. The arms, back and shoulders are also used extensively due to the vigorous arm swing that is required for correct and effective walking.

So, what are you waiting for? Dust the cobwebs off those trusty old shoes and get to it!

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