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The Health Benefits of Walking
By Carol LeBeau
10/1/2011 3:15:49 PM


There’s an easy way to get and stay healthy. Almost anyone can do it. It fits into just about any schedule. And, best of all, it can be done alone or with a friend. It’s inexpensive, versatile and the health benefits are almost too numerous to count.

It’s walking.

Boring, right? That’s what I thought. Heck, for decades, I was a runner. I thought walking was for wimps! No more. Following a frustrating foot injury and a couple of surgeries, running was no longer an option. So I started walking – and I haven’t stopped! It’s a great workout, it’s fun, and I’m no longer on injured reserve!

Like millions of walkers (see my interview with San Diego Mayor and walking fan Jerry Sanders in the “BE” section of my blog), I’m singing the praises of this simple, yet effective way to better health and well-being. Whatever your level of fitness, there’s a way to walk that will work for you.

If you’re just getting started, walking is a gentle, low-impact exercise that can ease you into a higher level of fitness and health. If you’re ready for more, bump up your pace and throw in a few hills and you’ve got yourself a challenge.

Walking, like other exercise, can help you achieve a number of health goals:

• Lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (“bad” cholesterol)
• Raise high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (“good” cholesterol)
• Lower your blood pressure
• Reduce risk of or manage type 2 diabetes
• Manage weight
• Improve mood
• Stay strong and fit

Walking is aerobic exercise. It can help you take off weight and keep it off. Moderate walking burns nearly 270 calories an hour. Take it up a notch and you can burn an additional 100 calories an hour. Add music and you’ll be in the “zone” before you know it!

Plus, walking is fun! I never get bored ‘cause I change it up. Different distance. Different venue. The beach. The bay. The lake. The neighborhood. The possibilities are endless.

Even Oprah’s on board. “I’ve been through every diet under the sun,” says the talk show queen. “And I can tell you that getting up, getting out and walking is always the first goal.”

So, what’s your goal? Why not lace up your shoes and take a walk – today

Contact Carol by emailing her at Carol@palomarhealth.org.



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