Walk of Life

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For the average busy city dwellers, there is an easy way to keep in shape which is also accessible, affordable and can accommodate even the busiest schedules – it is walking. It is also the No.1 fitness activity for adults. However, many people don’t realise that the walking that they already do each day is a positive step to help them get fit. Medical studies at Stanford Scholl of Medicine have found that walking helps to reduce body fat, lower cholesterol and blood pressure besides increasing flexibility and mental well – being.

It is widely recommended that adults take 10,000 steps a day, the equivalent of about 8km which can be achieved by walking 30 to 60 minutes at one time or in multiple 10 minute increments over the course of the day. Walking is also a key component of many fitness plans, which is supported by many fitness experts, including the trainer – to – the – stars Ramona Braganza, who helped shape some of the hottest bodies in Hollywood, from Jessica Alba to Halle Berry. “For me, being fit is a lifestyle. I would be bored if I just go to the gym every day. That is why I always recommend walking to my client as a great form of exercise. Adding a few easy things to your daily routine can help you make sure that every step counts,” Braganza said.

In theory, losing weight is easy to achieve. All we need to do is to burn more calories than we take in and the result is we will lose weight. However, in practice, losing weight is difficult. For many people, the cycle of dieting, losing weight and eventually gaining it back is all too familiar. The problem with diets is that they are contradicting common sense and centuries of human history besides being rarely effective in the long run. Good diet must be combined with exercise such as walking to be really effective. Walking one mile (1.6 km) will burn up at least 100kcal of energy. Walking 2 miles (3.2 km) a day, three times a week, will help reduce weight by approximately one pound (0.5 kg) every three weeks. Another benefit of walking is that walking alters your body’s fat metabolism so that fat is burned up instead of sugars. This will help you lose weight.

A question often asked is “How fast should I walk?” The answer appears to be “As fast as you can without losing the ability to hold a conversation”. In other words, walk at a pace that is brisk but does not prevent you from talking to a friend in a normal manner. This is sometimes called the “talk test”. Walking should be an aerobic exercise. Aerobic means that exercise is carried out at a comfortable pace to ensure the muscle that have sufficient oxygen available. If you’re gasping for breath, you are doing an aerobic exercise. Regular aerobic exercise done three times a week for 30 minutes or more will result in increased levels of fitness and aerobic capacity. The bottom line if you want to lose weight is: start walking today and walk every day and you will lose weight!