Besides being absolutely free, there are many benefits of walking. You burn calories and it helps you get in shape and maintain your weight. You can start as slow as you like and slowly build up to longer distances and walking faster. You can walk at the comfort of your home using a treadmill.
You can walk outside and change the landscape and sceneries and thus are less likely to quit and become bored. And you don't have to have any special training or equipment to take part in this exercise. A pair of comfortable walking shoes is the only equipment you need.
Just like any other aerobic exercises, walking improves your circulatory system and blood flow. Your energy and stamina will also increase as you walk further and do it consistently. One of the greatest benefits is it helps improve your psychological and emotional health.
Some people enjoy taking brisk walks alone. Walking with a friend or in a team builds friendship, is more enjoyable and can keep you motivated to follow through the walking exercise routine.
Start slow by beginning with a 15 or 20 minutes walk. Then focus on the distance. Distance is more important than speed for beginner walkers. The rule of thumb is, based on your fitness level and your age and size, you burn 100 calories for every mile you walk. While fast walking may burn more calories, if you walk fast and can only walk a ¼ of a mile you will not get all the benefits of walking you would get if you walk an entire mile at a slower pace.
Gradually increase your distance is a way to keep you staying on course. Once you are comfortably walking a full mile each day increase that distance. Even if you increase that distance only by a ¼ or ½ mile at first, you be burn 100 to 150 more calories per week.
One of the greatest benefits of walking is that you will slowly build your muscles. When you build your muscles, your metabolic rate increase which means that even when you are resting or sleeping you will be burning more calories than ever before. Vary the terrain on which you walk for better effect.
The benefits of walking go far beyond losing that weight you are trying to take off. It will make you healthier, stronger and feel younger. By following these few simple walking tips and eating right, you can get your exercise program off to a great start and lose weight. When you begin to enjoy it, you might want to consider distance walking or running for a lifelong exercise program.
Ask your doctor before you start your walking program especially if you are overweighed or haven't been physically active for quite a while.