When you actually take the time to look at the benefits of walking as a form of exercise, they almost seem to be too good to be true. Lower blood pressure, increased lung capacity, reduced risk of depression, less probability of heart problems and stroke and even a reduced probability of certain forms of cancer. Add increased energy, weight loss and feeling better in general and the benefits are very impressive.Bear in mind the fact that you can fit walking into your daily schedule as and when it suits you and also that you won’t be incurring any expensive monthly gym or fitness club fees – and you have to wonder why more people don’t make walking an integral part of their fitness program? It’s also worth remembering that, apart from a pair of comfortable shoes, you don’t need any special equipment, training or expertise to get a regular walking workout.One reason why people don’t include walking as an integral part of their exercise routine might be that they simply don’t realise the potential benefits. There is still something of a “no pain no gain” mentality – first developed some years ago – which might make it difficult for some people to believe that a relatively low level exercise like walking could truly deliver such impressive benefits.However, the evidence is clear. Walking has the potential to provide some very significant benefits to your health. Consistency is the important thing – taking regular exercise is always much more effective. Ideally, it should be part of your daily routine.And there are plenty of opportunities to do this. Maybe you could leave the car at work and walk to the office now and again? Or how about taking the stairs instead of the elevator from time to time? Possibly you could stretch your legs with a brief 10 or 15 minute stroll round the block during your lunch break. Small, almost unnoticeable changes can make a big difference.Part of the problem could well be that the effort required is so small. Many people may find it hard to believe that they will achieve such a high value of benefits based upon such a small investment of time and effort. One possible way to overcome this, should you find yourself in this category, would be to use a pedometer. Use this every day to record the number of steps you take, the distance you cover and the number of calories you burn.It should soon become obvious that small changes to your daily routine – walking instead of taking the car from time to time – can have a major impact on your fitness and health. Increasing the visibility of your walking exercise benefits might be all the encouragement you need to ensure that you take regular exercise and reap the rewards on offer to you as far as fitness, health and general wellbeing go.
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