Benefits of Walking Home

Submitted by Kevin Pederson on February 20, 2012

Walking is one of the most popular forms of exercise. It does not require any special equipment and can be performed by almost everyone. People tend to walk for several reasons. Some walk for pleasure, some to alleviate stress and some also to get from place to place.

Walking was earlier seen as being too easy an exercise.


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But recent research has shed new light on walking as a way to enhance physical fitness. Brisk walking done on a regular schedule helps to improve oxygen consumption by the body. It also helps to control blood pressure levels and enhance the efficiency of the lungs and heart.

Besides all these benefits, walking also assists in weight loss. In today's time, hypertension and obesity are among the main causes of heart attack and stroke. Regular walking as a form of exercise helps to protect against these health risks. Walking involves the same amount of burned calories per mile as running. This is especially beneficial for those who do not prefer the jarring sensation that running and jogging leads to. Walking also does not require one to set aside a certain amount of time for it. It can be easily incorporated into an individual's current daily routine. One can begin by simply walking home, instead of driving or taking a bus. Walking briskly for a mile in about 15 minutes will burn off the same amount of calories as jogging the same distance in about 8 ½ minutes. Since walking is a weight bearing activity, heavier people will burn a greater number of calories than those who are lighter. It is important to note that by increasing the speed of walking, more calories will not be burned per mile. A more vigorous pace of walking, on the other hand, is more effective.

People with lower fitness levels benefit more from walking at a slower speed, whereas those with higher fitness levels need to increase the pace of walking to bring about improvement in lung and heart endurance. Studies also indicate that vigorous exercise has residual benefits. For some amount of time following a proper workout, the metabolism of the individual remains higher than normal. This allows for additional burning of calories. Another benefit of walking is that it is a low-risk activity. The dropout rate of walking is also lower than other forms of exercise. Still another valuable advantage of walking is the positive effect it has on an individual's psychological state.

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