Walking for weight-loss and cardiovascular health

Walking is an easy and simple way to start laying a foundation for optimum health. Walking offers a number of health benefits without having to work up a sweat. It’s a great way to ease into fitness, get outside with loved ones, or to unwind after a day at work. According to the Mayo Heart Clinic, some of walking’s benefits include: burning calories, lowering bad cholesterol, increasing bone density, decreasing the risk for disease, and improving cardiovascular health. The fresh air and sunshine obtained outdoors can also help relieve stress!

Before cars and other mechanized modes of transportation (and where people still go without such means) walking was and is the main form of transportation. When my wife and I lived in Ukraine for six months we walked almost everywhere, and it felt great! Ease of transportation and busy schedules in the U.S., however, deter most people from taking regular walks. “Taking a walk” usually requires concerted effort and planning. The reason is that walking has become an extra activity done solely for enjoyment or exercise purposes.

Incorporating walking into a healthy lifestyle is a great way to get more exercise and reduce stress levels on a daily basis. I’ve found that if I give myself a little extra time, I can walk as a means of transportation, which allows me to obtain exercise and get where I need to go at the same time. If you don’t live too far away, try walking to the store or post office next time instead of driving – you’ll be able to accomplish all of the following at once: exercise, breathing fresh air, meditation or prayer, relaxation, and an errand!

Originally posted 2011-02-17 21:00:00.

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