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Walking for Exercise

Walking is great for your health at any age

Walking is one of the simplest forms of exercise. It is an action that one uses frequently to get tasks done, to travel, and to exercise. Walking for exercise can be easily accomplished and modified to meet the needs of those who wish to take part; one may walk in place or walk from different points, whether it takes place outside or in doors. Walking while seated, better known as marching, can provide one with many benefits as well. According to research from the American Heart Association, the benefits of walking for exercise and moderate physical activity for at least thirty minutes a day include:

  • Reducing the risk of coronary heart disease
  • Improving blood pressure and blood sugar levels
  • Improving blood lipid profiles
  • Maintaining body weight and lowering the risk of obesity
  • Enhancing mental well being
  • Reducing the risk of osteoporosis
  • Reducing the risk of breast and colon cancer
  • Reducing the risk of non-insulin dependent (type 2) diabetes

One may choose to walk fifteen minutes, two times a day or ten minutes, three times a day after meals depending on endurance levels and schedules. To enhance the benefits of walking, one may benefit from using very light hand weights. Using one or two pound weights are advisable and appropriate since the objective of walking with hand weights is to improve your body, not to harm it. Using weights that are too heavy can cause strain on our arms and affect the arm swing we utilize regularly, so remember to take it easy! Gradually progress at YOUR own rate. Benefits of walking with hand weights may cause:

  • more effective breathing
  • increase your endurance
  • burn more calories
  • increase blood flow

Once you complete your walk, remember to stretch and drink water. By doing those two simple follow ups to your workout, you will decrease the build up of toxins that cause your muscles to become sore. If you experience any changes in your health or feel any pain, decrease your intensity by lowering your weights or pace at which you are walking. If your discomfort continues, please seek assistance from a professional. Our therapy teams are here to help you!

Be patient with your progression towards a healthier lifestyle. Remember to take time to make it fun and enjoyable. Walking for exercise leads you to a path to better your lifestyle and should be a long journey, not a sprint!

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