Monday, June 21, 2010

Walking for Health and Lower Blood Pressure

Walking every day for as little as 20 minutes is one of the simplest ways to get into and stay in good shape. Daily walking will likely lower your blood pressure as well.

Don't discount the health benefits of walking because it seems too "easy". Walking rarely leads to injury, is relaxing and doesn't require special equipment or a lot of money. Here is a great walking site.

Getting started is simple: Wear comfortable clothes, shoes and find a place to walk. You can walk in your neighborhood on the streets and sidewalks, at the local park or high school track or head to a nearby trail. Start at a pace that is comfortable for you but try to do more than take a slow stroll. Thirty minutes a day is ideal for fitness, but to lose weight, 45 minutes to one hour a day is the optimal walking schedule.

Try to walk at least five days a week. Set aside a time for daily walking and stick to it, if you need motivation, try to find a walking partner. You can offer mutual encouragement on those days you just don't feel like it.

Walking also helps control high blood pressure. The Mayo Clinic says that a regular walking program can lower blood pressure readings by five to 10 points.
You can do this, I lost 20 pounds in six months through walking about 30-45 minutes every day.
While most of my own walking is done in my neighborhood, including a circuit at the city park, I enjoy a long walk on the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal every so often, and it's a nice break from routine. The C&O is about 12 miles from where I live, so I do have to drive, but again, that's only for a change of pace.

As with any exercise program, check with your doctor before hitting the sidewalk, road or trail.

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