Is anyone else feeling that Winter is dragging on a bit ? Dreaming of warmer climates and longer days ? You’re not alone. We’ve had some glimpses of Spring, teasing us and then it gets cold again. Here’s a surefire way to help get you through the next month or two and get a jump start on your Summer outdoor activities. According to Active.com, walking just 20 minutes a day is one of the best activities you can do for your body and your spirit.
This activity will melt away the pounds, tone your flabby bits and leave you on an emotional high. It does not require gym membership or a personal trainer. All you need to do is walk.
“Walking is a refreshing alternative to complicated aerobic routines and overpriced gym memberships,” says personal trainer Lucy Knight, author of a book on the exercise.
“It is free, enjoyable and already a part of everyday life. All you need to do is walk faster and for longer and you will lose weight.”
There is much evidence of the benefits of walking. Scientists at the University of Pittsburgh recently revealed that overweight people who walked briskly for 30 to 60 minutes a day lost weight even if they didn’t change any other lifestyle habits.
Another American study found that people who walked for at least four hours a week gained less weight (an average nine pounds less) than couch potatoes as they got older. Researchers at the University of Colorado found that regular walking helped to prevent peripheral artery disease (which impairs blood flow in the legs and causes leg pain in one-fifth of elderly people).
Walking can even prevent colds and more. Researchers at the University of Massachusetts medical school found that people who walked every day had 25 percent fewer colds than those who were sedentary.
Because walking is a weight-bearing exercise, it can also help prevent the bone disease osteoporosis.
“Bones are like muscles in the way that they get stronger and denser the more demands you place on them,” Knight says. “The pull of a muscle against a bone, together with the force of gravity when you walk, will stress the bone — which responds by stimulating tissue growth and renewal.”
Best of all, walking makes you feel good about yourself. “For people suffering from depression, walking three to four times a week for 30 minutes has been shown to enhance their mood,” says Knight.
With all these benefits why wouldn’t we all be doing this ?