Walking and Weight Loss
by Carlton Pruitt
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When it comes to health there are at least three universal goals most of us share. These are
1. to live longer,
2. to live free of illness/sickness/disease and
3. to control our weight.
Interesting enough, normal walking lets us achieve at least one of these three goals in most cases. In addition to moderate exercise in the form of walking there is also the need to eat healthy but I'll get to that in another article.
Unlike running walking is totally natural. Man was made for walking and in the strictest sense wasn't designed for running as are the animals. Animals have four legs and a lower center of gravity to move quickly across the terrain whereas man has two legs and stands erect. He was made with the capability of running but it is not his primary design. In other words people do not go everywhere running but they do go everywhere walking.
Walking may be man's best medicine for slowing the aging process. First, it works almost every muscle in the body, improving circulation to the joints and massaging the blood vessels (keeping them more elastic). Walking also helps us maintain both our muscle mass and metabolism as we age. It also keeps us young in spirit. For anyone out of shape or unathletically inclined, walking is the no-stress, no-sweat answer to lifelong conditioning.
All it takes is a little time, common sense and a few guidelines. Unfortunately, there's a lot of misinformation floating around regarding fitness walking, weight-loss and dieting. Walking is one of the best exercise for strengthening bones, controlling weight, toning the leg muscles, maintaining good posture and improving positive self-concept.
People who diet without exercising often get fatter with time. Although your weight may initially drop while dieting, such weight loss consists mostly of water and muscle. When the weight returns, it comes back as fat. To avoid getting fatter over time, increase your metabolism by exercising daily. I did lose weight several years ago by simply changing my eating habits but I did walk up hill several times a week for cardio benefits and to accelerate my metabolism.
To lose weight, it's more important to walk for time than speed. Walking at a moderate pace yields longer workouts with less soreness - - leading to more miles and more calories spent on a regular basis.
High-intensity walks on alternate days help condition one's system. But in a walking, weight-loss program, it's better to be active every day. This doesn't require walking an hour every day. The key is leading an active life-style 365 days a year.
When it comes to good health and weight loss, exercise and diet are interrelated. Exercising without maintaining a balanced diet is no more beneficial than dieting while remaining inactive.
The national research council recommends eating five or more servings of fruits and vegetables a day. Fruits and vegetables are the ideal diet foods for several reasons. They're relatively low in fat and calories, yet are often high in fiber and rich in essential vitamins and minerals. Remember that rapid weight-loss consists mostly of water and muscle - - the wrong kind of weight to lose. To avoid this, set more reasonable goals, such as one pound per week.
Carbohydrates are high-octane fuel. They provide energy for movement and help raise internal body metabolism. They're also satisfying. The key is not adding high-fat toppings to your carbohydrates.
It's everyday habits which define our weight and body composition. A three-minute walk after each meal is worth four pounds less body fat annually. Two flights of stairs a day burns off half a pound of body fat in a year. On the other hand, one candy bar eaten daily will cost you 20 pounds annually.
Carlton Pruitt ministers the gospel to the Los Angeles area. Formerly a Hollywood actor (SAG member)and junk removal expert he now spends most of his time studying the scriptures, writing articles, hymns and poems and doing street preaching.
See his videos on http://www.youtube.com Type LAStreetPreacher in the search bar. CONTACT at Carlton2061@gmail.
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