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Walking: Trim Your Waistline, Improve Your Health

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Ready to reap the benefits of walking?

Can you really walk your way to fitness? You bet, get started today. Physical activity doesn't need to be complicated.

Something as simple as a daily brisk walk can help you live a healthier life. For example, regular brisk walking can help you:

  • Maintain a healthy weight and lose body fat.
  • Prevent or manage various conditions, including heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, cancer and type 2 diabetes.
  • Improve cardiovascular fitness.
  • Improve your mood, cognition, memory and sleep.
  • Reduce stress and tension.

The faster, farther and more frequently you walk, the greater the benefits. This can be a great way to get aerobic activity, improve your heart health and increase your endurance while burning calories. You can also alternate periods of brisk walking with leisurely walking. This type of interval training has many benefits, such as improving cardiovascular fitness and burning more calories than regular walking. Interval training can be done in less time than regular walking. Turning your normal walk into a fitness stride requires good posture and purposeful movements. Ideally, here's how you'll look when you're walking:

  • Your head is up. You're looking forward, not at the ground.
  • Your neck, shoulders and back are relaxed, not stiffly upright.
  • You're swinging your arms freely with a slight bend in your elbows. A little pumping with your arms is okay.
  • Your stomach muscles are slightly tightened and your back is straight, not arched forward or backward.
  • You're walking smoothly, rolling your foot from heel to toe.

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As you start your walking routine, remember to:

  • Get the right gear.
  • Choose your course carefully.
  • Warm up.
  • Cool down.
  • Stretch.

As a general goal, aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity a day. If you can't set aside that much time, try several short sessions of activity throughout the day. Any amount of activity is better than none at all.

To access the full article on walking to trim your waistline, click here

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In partnership with the YMCA, Hally health focuses on a variety of topics aimed at people of any age or fitness level who want to stay healthy and active. Try this yoga floor practice workout, that’s sure to get your heart pumping. To view all of our YMCA partnership fitness videos throughout the month, please visit hally.com or Facebook.com/HallyHealth.