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Saturday, January 21, 2012

How a Daily Brisk Walk Can Promote Weight Loss and Good Health

Walking is one of the best and easiest ways to promote weight loss and general good health.

Below are 5 advantages of a daily walk:

1) Walking increases our heart rate.

Any form of cardiovascular exercise is excellent for increasing our heart rate and boosts our metabolism which leads to calorie burning. To ensure the best health benefits, we need to walk briskly, not merely stroll along. To allow our body to warm up and avoid injury, we should begin at a slower pace, gradually increasing our speed so that we are moving at a comfortable brisk pace, not exactly running but slightly hurrying.

If we find it difficult maintaining a fast speed for long periods of time, we could change our speed so we walk at a slower pace for a while, then a faster speed alternating for three or four minutes at a time. The periods of time when we are walking at a slower pace will allow us time to catch our breath and rest and relax our muscles a little. The periods of time we are walking at a more rapid pace will challenge us, helping us to burn calories and get in shape.

2) Walking helps us tone up and build lean muscle.

Walking is a form of both aerobic and resistance exercise as we are forcing our body weight forward and making our leg and hip muscles to work harder, which will help to build lean muscle. A daily brisk walk will also promote a whole lower body toning, which can be enhanced by using light ankle weights, and we can also tone our upper body by rapidly swinging our arms or using light dumbbells.

3) Walking increases our energy levels.

A brisk, early morning walk is an excellent way to energize and invigorate our body to journey through the day ahead.

4) Walking clarifies our thoughts.

Most of us suffer from having to mentally focus on so many issues concerning so many different influences such as our employment, social events, and family matters. Taking a brisk walk helps us to shut out and forget about these issues and focus on the simple task of concentrating on putting one foot in front of the other until we have completed our daily exercise. Even if we cannot stop focusing on other thoughts, we will find that walking seems to help us clarify and calm our thoughts. We should, however, avoid letting our mind stray onto other things and try to keep our attention on the way our body is feeling as we move along, and be aware of our surroundings. Many of us like to listen to music as we walk, which is a good way to shut out traffic noise, but there is nothing more pleasant and relaxing than enjoying peace and quiet, particularly if we are walking in the countryside, or parkland.

5) Walking relieves stress.

If we maintain a daily routine of a brisk morning walk, we will notice that overtime our stress levels will diminish. Even if we are not in the habit of suffering from early morning stress related issues, taking a walk appears to prevent the build up of stress within us as the day progresses. If we do happen to feel stressed later in the day, another brisk walk will calm and relieve this. A brisk walk is not only a good way to burn off extra calories, it is an excellent way to ease tension, anxiety, irritation, and make us feel calm and in control of our emotions.

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