A "Walking Program" is a good start

This is the second installment of my walking post about exercise referring to a couple of researches I did way back 2003 when I got ill.

"One of the safest and most effective ways to improve your cardiovascular fitness is by walking.

Walking is an ideal low impact aerobic exercise. If done regularly, it can reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer, lower total cholesterol, raise healthy HDL cholesterol and lower blood pressure. It can help maintain healthy bones and muscles, stabilize blood sugar, improve immunity and relieve some of the stress in your life.

Thousands have realized the physical and psychological benefits of walking. That’s why walking has become one of the most popular ways to stay fit. Another reason is because it—s inexpensive–– all it takes is a little motivation and a comfortable pair of shoes.

According to the Cooper Institute for Aerobics Research, men who walk at least half an hour, six days a week, can cut their mortality rate from heart disease in half, compared with those who are sedentary. Studies show similar heart health benefits for women when they’exercise regularly. Now there’s a good reason to make a lifestyle change!

In 1996, just prior to the Olympic games in Atlanta, the Office of the Surgeon General reported on the health benefits derived from being physically active. The Surgeon General’s Report on Physical Activity and Health noted the following benefits of exercise:

•Cardiac Risk – Overwhelming evidence from epidemiologic studies shows that a physically active lifestyle reduces the risk of sudden cardiac death (Leon et al 1987). Physical inactivity is casually linked to an increased risk of coronary heart disease (Powell et. Al. 1987; Black 1994).

•Blood Pressure Control – Studies generally report that there is significant reductions in blood pressure following endurance exercise training (Fagard & Tipton, 1994; Am. College Sports Med. 1993).

•Anxiety and Depression – Adults who spend more time participating in regular exercise, sports or other physical activities have fewer symptoms of depression and anxiety than persons who reported no or low levels of participation in these same activities (Ross & Hayden 1988).

Note: Depression is a serious illness. If you feel depressed for longer than a 3-week period of time, discuss your symptoms with your health care professional.)"

My doctor's exercise prescription then was: to walk a 1,500 meters briskly with a time limit of not more than 10 minutes. Can you dig that? And mind you I was in high heels. (Big :-) Grin)

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