Originally published August 13 2011
Lose weight and improve heart health naturally by walking
by Shona Botes
(NaturalNews) Many people these days think they have to follow the latest fad diet in order to lose a lot of weight in a hurry. The hard truth is that there is actually no fast fix for weight loss. It is a gradual process that involves a will to change one's lifestyle and habits. Walking is one of the safest, most effective forms of exercise that will assist with successful weight loss and future weight, health and heart maintenance.
Not only does walking benefit those wanting to lose weight, it also helps to improve heart health. This is because it is able to lower the low-density lipoprotein (LDL or otherwise known as bad) cholesterol and raise the high-density lipoprotein (HDL or good) cholesterol levels in the blood. Studies have shown that those, who walk for an average of 30 to 60 minutes per day, have an almost 40% less chance of developing heart disease and cancer.
People, who need to lower blood pressure or simply to stay fit, can benefit greatly from walking. It helps those suffering from depression and strengthens the immune system. It can assist those suffering from breathing or circulatory problems and can even help prevent the onset of osteoporosis. It has also been shown to lower the risk of having a stroke. Walking can even help those suffering from arthritis and other forms of joint pain. It is also an effective way of maintaining lean muscle.
Walking at a gentle pace of around three miles per hour can burn as many as 263 calories per hour. Increasing the pace to a slightly more brisk four miles per hour can boost that to an amazing 366 calories per hour.
Ensure that you have loose but comfortable clothing to wear while walking, as well as a comfortable pair of walking shoes. It is also important to warm up by gently stretching the muscles before setting out. Cool down after walking by slowing down your pace a few minutes before arriving at your destination and ensure that you finish off with a few gentle stretches after stopping. This will minimize your risk of muscle strain and injury.
If one does a little research, you may find that a few places that you frequent are actually close enough to walk to instead of driving. Not only will your health and waistline thank you for the exercise, but so will the environment.
About the authorShona Botes blogs about green living, budgeting, saving money, natural remedies and humour (which is often combined with the abovementioned topics). Her spare time is spent tending to her organic herb garden, cycling and engaging in photography.
Her blog may be viewed here
Some of her photography work may be viewed here
Other articles written by her may be viewed here
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