Walk Your Way Slim

Singapore Women's Weekly (Singapore) - - INSPIRE -

Do you want to lose some weight and lower your choles­terol? Then step this way to bet­ter health and well-be­ing

Whether you’re on a get-fit mis­sion or just want­ing to main­tain good health through reg­u­lar ex­er­cise, walk­ing is a great op­tion that couldn’t be eas­ier to em­brace. More than a daw­dle, but not quite a jog, a good brisk walk can do won­ders for our men­tal as well as phys­i­cal health. Plus, you don’t need a gym mem­ber­ship for a great “walk­out”!

Cir­cu­la­tion im­proves

Walk­ing is great for cir­cu­la­tion as it helps to oxy­genate our blood and boosts blood flow by en­larg­ing blood ves­sels. It also helps to pre­vent deep vein throm­bo­sis by us­ing the deeper calf mus­cle, which as­sists blood flow back to the heart.

Breath­ing is eas­ier

Walk­ing in­creases your breath­ing rate and strength­ens your res­pi­ra­tory mus­cles. “Walk­ing is ben­e­fi­cial for those with asthma and COPD (chronic ob­struc­tive pul­monary dis­ease) as long as you walk in­doors on high pol­lu­tion days,” says ex­er­cise phys­i­ol­o­gist So­nia Glanville.

Heart be­comes health­ier

Walk­ing is one of the eas­i­est ways to pro­tect your heart. Stud­ies have found that brisk walk­ing is as good as run­ning for low­er­ing risks of choles­terol, blood pres­sure and di­a­betes – the three key fac­tors lead­ing to heart dis­ease.

Cre­ativ­ity gets a boost

There’s a rea­son some com­pa­nies hold walk ’n’ talk meet­ings. Re­searchers in the US ex­am­ined the cre­ativ­ity lev­els of peo­ple while they walked ver­sus while they sat down and found that the walk­ers in­creased creative out­put by about 60 per cent. The re­sults were the same whether the par­tic­i­pants walked in­doors on a tread­mill or out­doors in na­ture.

BRISK FAC­TORS

Walk­ing briskly is a well-be­ing sta­ple, but there can be some con­fu­sion around what qual­i­fies as “brisk”. Pre­vi­ous guide­lines have said a brisk walk should in­crease our heart rate to around 70 per cent of its max­i­mum, or a pace at which you can talk but not sing – though both def­i­ni­tions are hard to mea­sure. Thank­fully a re­view of 38 re­cent, high qual­ity stud­ies has a new def­i­ni­tion: A brisk walk re­quires around 100 steps per minute. Study au­thor Cather­ine Tu­dor-Locke from the Univer­sity of Mas­sachusetts says this is a pace that “will prob­a­bly not feel stren­u­ous to most healthy peo­ple”. Sim­ply count how many steps you take in 10 sec­onds and mul­ti­ply by six or count how many steps you take in a sin­gle minute and skip the math al­to­gether.

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