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Walking for weight loss
February 15, 2015, 3:54 pm

Many people do not consider walking an exercise and often underestimate the health benefits of walking.

Walking is a relatively safe and an enjoyable exercise, which is effective in weight reduction. However for those affected by severe knee arthritis or back problems, doctors recommend swimming or cycling, Walking has several health benefits apart from weight reduction. It is an excellent cardiovascular exercise, which makes our heart and lungs more efficient. It can prevent osteoporosis and improve bone health. Walking is an excellent way to beat stress. The only drawback is that it can have adverse effects on knees and back, once degeneration has set in.

Here are a few points to make walking an effective exercise for weight loss.

Stretch your muscles before and after walking. Muscles like the calf muscle, the quadriceps or the front thigh muscles and the hamstrings situated in the back portion of the thigh, need to be supple while walking. A good stretching session can help these muscles give their best performance while walking. Exercises like heel raises, quarter squats, lunges can strengthen the muscles involved in your walk. Strong muscles also prevent degeneration of joints.  Optimum speed while walking is required for you to reduce weight. The walk needs to be brisk to raise your heart rate to 'training' level.

Very often people do not lose weight with walking because they stroll rather than walk with correct intensity. If you can sing a song effortlessly while walking, you need to speed up. If you are gasping for breath while walking, you need to slow down. A pulse monitor often helps you find your ideal speed of walking.

Your shoes can be your biggest allies while walking. Good shoes can usher in health, weight loss and happiness and bad shoes can invite knee or back problems. If you are a regular walker, invest in a good pair of shoes. Buy shoes, which are designed for walking.

Whether it is a trek in the hills or along the seashore, walking transcends tensions and worries and sends us into another world.

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