Thursday, February 24, 2011

Walking the Weight Away

I have to admit I've been skipping my P90X workouts the past couple of days. Instead I've been walking around the neighborhood. Why am I walking you might ask? Well, one of my cats Jack didn't come home on Monday night and I've been looking for him ever since. After the first day of me walking, my legs were a little bit sore and I thought, that's weird, because I've been doing the P90X workouts for several weeks now, walking should be no problem! That got me to thinking, why is walking such a good workout if I don't sweat and don't feel winded when I'm finished? Here are some reasons that everyone should get to walking:

Good for your heart
If you walk for 30 minutes at least 3 times per week, your blood pressure will be lower and it can be just as effective as intense cardio workouts that are done twice a week. Walking also reduces the risk of dying from heart disease. Walking can also lower your bad cholesterol while raising the amount of good cholesterol.

Good for your mind
Walking releases endorphins which are the happy chemicals in our brains. If you are feeling down and out, take a walk and you will start feeling happier. Getting the endorphins flowing will always help you feel less tired, less tense, less angry and less confused.

Good for your skin
Since you are increasing your blood flow by walking you are improving the circulation through your body which gets more blood flowing to your skin. Getting more blood to your skin brings more nutrients that your skin needs to stay healthy and clear.

Good for your immunity
By walking 45 minutes a day for at least 5 days a week, your chances of catching a cold are cut in half. This all goes back to the increased circulation. The improved circulation brings your immune cells quicker to the viruses and bacteria cells that are trying to get you sick. Walking can also reduce your risk for type 2 diabetes. If you already have type 2 diabetes, walking regularly can help keep it manageable.

Good for your bones and joints
Walking is considered a weight-bearing exercise. These exercises increase bone mass but unlike other high impact workouts, your joints don't take a beating.

Like every workout, a proper warmup and cooldown should be done. Get a heart rate monitor to make sure you are staying in a healthy zone. There are apps you can get for your cell phone to track how far you have walked as well.

The good thing about walking is that it is just as beneficial as doing a higher intensity workout but it comes with a lot less risk for injury. Start at a pace that you are most comfortable with and gradually increase how quickly you walk.

I'm off to go walk around the neighborhood looking for my lost kitty!

Tip of the Day - Don't let your cats outside :(

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