Guest Author - April Alisa Marquette
I know you've heard it before, but I will say it anyway. You can walk your way to fitness. I am sure you are aware, but since the spring is here, and since we all want to look and feel fit, I will reiterate... Fitness walking can be fun, while it aids us to shed pounds. Studies have shown that the cardio effects of walking may aid in preventing heart disease. Were you also aware that simply walking can even reduce stress?
I'm not telling you these things just because I read them. I mention them because I believe in walking. I do it often. Now what I did read was that walking happens to be the most popular form of exercise in America for women of all ethnicities.
Not a powerwalker? Start with a brisk stroll. Were you aware that doing so, three times a week, for twenty minutes each time can tone your legs as well as reduce fatty deposits anywhere on the body? This exercise that you need no special equipment to do really is fun. If you go with a neighbor or a friend, you can even catch up, renew or revive a relationship that has been lagging.
If you're a beginner, as far as fitness walking goes, you'll want to start out slower. Get your medical practicioner's clearance if necessary. Then perhaps you'll take a leisurely stroll down your street. I have also said in other articles that you can 'cheat' by going to the market or the mall. Park your car as far away as you'd like, then the brisk walk there and back will count as exercise! Start off doing five minute increments and work your way up.
Choose a pace that is confortable for you. If you begin gasping for air, or have pain in your side or chest, you are going too fast. Slowly work up to moving faster. Another thing you'll need to do is set a realistic goal -- if you're a newbie. New fitness walkers should not get so gung-ho that they find themselves at a point where they are too worn to return to their starting point. Say to your walking partner, "We should walk to So 'n So street, or to the bush by the park bench and return." This way, you've set a realistic goal. It is one that you can increase every few days. The benefits will be so rewarding. I tell you, there is nothing like getting into a pair of jeans and having a finger or two of room when previously they pinched your waist.
Another important thing to remember when walking to become fit is body alignment. A dear friend with whom I stroll was always telling me this. Yes, we have the tendancy to lean forward. Why, I don't know, but I do know that it will strain your back. Walking out of alignment will also impede much needed air getting into your lungs. So shoulders back, elbows slightly bent, and away you go!
Remember, set realistic goals and stick to them, gradually increasing over time. Your enjoyment as well as the benefits will also increase. Do stop by the Ethnic Beauty Forum to let us know of your progress. Click on it to the upper right of this and any other article. We'd love to hear how you're doing --walking to get fit!
For other tips on getting in shape or toning your body, check out the Exercise site here at BellaOnline. Say hi to our fitness guru Monica Neave!
To see any previous articles, simply click on Archives and enjoy!