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Yes, You Can Walk That Weight Away

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The Center For Disease Control estimates that close to 67% of Americans’ are overweight and that 34% of those people would be considered obese. Those are some frightening statistics. It is well known that being overweight leads to many health problems and can severely compromise ones’ quality of life. It appears obvious that steps must be taken to get rid of the excess weight that is undermining good health for so many.

Due to health concerns and body limitations, many people cannot participate in the type of high intensity, high impact exercises that are known to be excellent fat burners. Even so, the best exercise of all, walking, is something that almost anybody can do to reap the many rewards that come from doing so. Just a simple, brisk walk a few times each week will serve to do an amazing amount of good for the body. It can help to lose weight, reduce the stress that is so prevalent in today’s world, strengthen lungs and heart, elevate energy level and contribute to a feeling of well-being and mood enhancement.

If you are a beginner, you will want to start out slowly to reduce the chance of injury. Guidelines suggest beginning with a 10 minute walk three times a week and working up to a 35 minute walk three times weekly over a six week period. You should warm up for 3-4 minutes before beginning each walk session. The warm up can consist simply of running in place of marching slowly which is then followed by a gentle stretch. Stretching the calf muscles, quads and hamstrings will serve to prevent pain from sore muscles.

Begin your walk by setting a pace that is fast enough to cause an expenditure of energy but no so fast as to over exert. A good way to monitor this is to determine your ideal heart rate when exercising and then walk just fast enough to keep it in that range. A simple formula to calculate your target range is to take your age and subtract it from 220. Now multiply that number by.55. and multiply the same number by.85. You will want to walk at a speed that puts your heart rate somewhere in between those two findings, being sure never to exceed the maximum. Once your walk is completed you will want to finish with a cool down that is similar intensity to the warm up. Following this should be another gentle stretch holding each position for at least a full minute.

Make the commitment to start a program of walking that is gentle on the joints while being a very effective way to reduce weight and body fat.

Nancy Smith is one of the owners of RobbinsSports.com, an online retailer specializing in volleyball nets and basketball backboard.