I walk three to four times a week, but I’ve heard walking may not be enough for fitness. Is this right?
The fact you are out there and moving three to four times a week is fantastic and certainly goes a long way towards maintaining your general health. You lower your risk of many chronic diseases as well as physical injuries that stem from inactivity, such as lower back pain, neck and shoulder pain. You are correct though; walking may not be enough. It’s a great cardiovascular workout but does little to build your muscle mass. After the age of 30, we have to actively do resistance training to preserve our muscle mass, otherwise we will lose it over time. Muscles use a fair amount of energy, which increases our daily energy requirements, improves the storage and clearance of glucose and keeps us able to do all the things we love to do! Resistance training is the only type of exercise that builds muscle. The recommendation is to include eight to 10 exercises at moderate to hard intensity, two or three times per week. And keep walking! ■ Christine Armarego, accredited exercise physiologist
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Post: Diabetic Living, Q&A: Health, GPO Box 7805, Sydney, NSW 2001.