Walking works for everyone

Apr 27, 2017

Editor’s note: The following is reprinted with permission from the Verdant Health Commission.

No matter your age, fitness level, weight, or health condition, walking can improve your health. It’s easier than many other forms of exercise as well, because you can do it almost anywhere.

If you haven’t been physically active for a while or have chronic conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, or heart disease, it is a good idea to check with your health care provider before getting started.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week, in addition to resistance training.

“The aerobic activity recommendations can be divided up into shorter time frames if needed,” said J. Bruce Williams, a doctor and Verdant commissioner. “Ten minutes or more at a time can add up. It’s not necessary to do 60 minutes at a time.”

If you’re ready to start walking, make sure you are wearing comfortable walking shoes, pack water, and dress in layers so you can remove clothing as you get warm.

Verdant is partnering with Edmonds, Lynnwood, Mountlake Terrace, and the Edmonds Senior Center to coordinate group walks throughout the summer.

There is more information about these walks at www.verdanthealth.org, but in general, it’s a great way to have regular opportunities to get outside and be active. These walks vary in length, but will typically be an hour long.

If you’re new to walking as exercise, you can shorten the walk or set a goal to participate in them as you gain strength and endurance in the coming months.

The bottom line is, walking is a great way to meet your physical activity goals. Learn more about the recommendations from the CDC at www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/.

Benefits of walking

• Gives you energy and improves your stamina for everyday activities

• Improves your mood and reduces stress

• Strengthens bones

• Helps you relax and sleep better

• Reduces your risk for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes

• Tones muscles, including your heart

• Increases the number of calories you burn, helping you lose and keep off weight

 

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