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Cicely C. Mitchell

We spend considerable amounts of time strolling down the aisles of a grocery store, we walk from our cars to shopping malls and centers. During our lives, we spend a huge majority of it walking. Many of us take walking for granted. For all of the walking that we do, this ubiquitous exercise does have benefits that can help provide longevity and vitality to our lives. For those of us that really want to put a “pep in our steps”, we can make walking a powerful exercise and incorporate brisk steps to achieve fitness, flexibility and better health. So what are some of the benefits of power walking? Let’s explore them in this week’s “Health/Beauty Wellness Wednesday”!

Power Walking Is…

Power walking is essentially casual walking with an attitude and energy. The average person walks at a speed of approximately three miles per hour (mph). But with a change of focus, technique and pace, you could change that stride to five mph or more during a power walk. Instead of focusing on the lower half of the body, as casual walkers tend to do, power walkers utilize and engage their entire bodies including arms, legs, abdominals, and lower back. Over-striding and over-swinging the arms can result in injuries and are common mistakes power walkers can make. While power walking keep in mind three entities that ensure a successful power walk: 1. posture, 2. arms and 3. concentration. Walking straight and upright, keeping arms slightly less than 90 degrees and focusing on your pacing and breathing can ensure a productive walk that can bring about great mental, physical and psychological benefits!

Benefits of Power Walking Include:

1.Heart Health

Daily physical activity or physical activity at least 3-4 times a week can benefit people of all ages. According to the American Heart Association, low-intensity exercise such as power walking, helps reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, high blood pressure and peripheral vascular disease.

2. Loss In Weight

Power walking can aid in weight loss and depending on how often and how long it is done, results can be seen relatively quickly. A 150-pound person, walking at a brisk pace, approximately four mph, for 30 minutes can burn 183 calories. Power walking also builds muscle, which will enable you to burn more calories at rest.

3.Mental Health, Memory and Stamina

Studies indicate that walking allows the body to release adrenaline and endorphins. Adrenaline is important to your nervous system and in boosting your mood, while endorphins give a sense of happiness and can even help relieve pain. Walking can also help improve your memory. Studies showed that women who performed a moderate amount of activity 30 minutes a day performed significantly better on cognitive tests than women who walked less than one hour per week.

4. Improved Health

Walking is an exercise that is referred to as a weight-bearing exercise (exercises such as swimming and cycling are generally considered non-weight bearing). It has been studied that weight-bearing exercises have been shown to help strengthen bones and reduce the risk of bone diseases; with constant walking, walkers can keep such bone diseases as osteoporosis and osteoarthritis at bay.

5. Better Sleep

It has been proven that walking can help in better and deeper sleep. In a study conducted by the National Sleep Foundation, low- to moderate-intensity exercise in the afternoon can help deepen sleep in the evening and decrease the time it takes you to fall asleep.

For a more pleasurable power walking experience, download some of your favorite upbeat songs and make sure you have at least a good 30-45 minutes of your favorite tunes. You will be surprised at the amount of time you spend getting fit, getting in shape and building a better you with some great motivational music!

Want a boost in that power walk? Consider investing in 3-5lbs weights. Weights add strength and can help increase your flexibility and help to build sculpted arms.

Grab friends and have fun while working towards fitness goals! Make a power walking date with friends and spend those Saturday mornings power walking on a trail or at a field! Get caught up, share ideas, provide support and encouragement while having great fitness fun!

Health/Beauty Wellness Wednesday: Pack A Power Walk In Your Routine!  was originally published on news92fm.com

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