Why Walking Works

Fitness walking is easy, safe and inexpensive. Itís aerobic, it burns calories, and itís an ideal fat-burning activity. It conditions the heart, improves muscle tone and strength, relieves stress, and can help with back pain, osteoporosis, respiratory problems, diabetes, arthritis, cardiac rehabilitation and a variety of other health problems. Walking is an injury-free way for everybody to keep fit, and fit kids are fitter when all the family walks together.

How to Walk for Weight Control

Weight is determined mostly by the balance of calories - how many you burn vs. how many you eat each day. To lose weight, you need to increase your activity to burn more and/or eat fewer calories each day.

A pound of fat equals 3500 calories. To lose 1 pound a week you will need to expend 3500 more calories than you eat that week, whether through increased activity or decreased eating or both. Losing 1-2 pounds of fat a week is a sensible goal, and so you will want to use the combination of increased activity and eating less that will total 3500 calories for 7 days.

Your weight x distance = energy used walking. Time does not matter as much as distance. If you speed up to walking a mile in 13 minutes or less, you will be burning more calories per mile. But for most beginning walkers, it is best to increase the distance before working on speed. A simple rule of thumb is 100 calories per mile for a 150 pound person.

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