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Try Walking for Health Fitness & Friendship

Updated on January 21, 2012

Walking for health is the most simple, easy and free way to get active, lose weight and become healthy. You can fit it in to suit your lifestyle. You can choose to walk to work, to the shops, up the stairs instead of taking the escalator or get off the bus or train one stop earlier and walk the rest of the distance. There are some many ways to incorporate walking for health into your daily routine.

Walking for Good Health

Many people do not place walking very high on the list as a means of getting fit and active. Instead they prefer to take out gym memberships, go to dance classes, or spend hundreds of dollars on exercise dvds. The fact of the matter is that walking is the perfect exercise for people of all ages and fitness levels.

It has been shown that regular walking reduces the risk of chronic illnesses and by walking 7-14 miles per week you can burn 600-1200 calories and reduce the risk of premature death by 25-35%

Walking also reduces the risk of:

  • Coronary heart disease
  • High blood pressure and cholesterol
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Asthma and
  • Obesity

Walking also improves osteoarthritis and bone health, increasing muscle strength, co-ordination, and balance. Mental health is promoted through walking as it leads to the release of the ‘happy drug’ endorphins that induces a sense of well -being. It’s a does naturally what some prescription drugs do.

Mental health disorders are related to brain chemistry and as part of the treatment regime many doctors recommend regular walking and exercise to alleviate and relieve bouts of depression.

Walking & Friendship

Although walking is good for your health we sometimes need help to get out of the "around the block" mentality and try something more challenging and fun.

Events such as long-distance walking can help to get you in shape. You could even consider walking for a good cause, such as ‘Breast Cancer Research’, or any other charitable group that needs support. The good thing about walking for a cause is that whilst becoming healthy you are also helping to raise much needed funds for these groups.

Another consideration is walking as part of a team. You can experience increased enjoyment for walking, keep focused and build great, long lasting friendships.

But what is a walking team? It could be two people or dozens-women and men, neighbors, colleagues, family, spouses or new acquaintances, from the same town or across the country-who share a commitment to taking personal steps to improve their health.

One team that takes humor in its stride is the "Back of the Pack Walkers," a group of 10 women who come together each year for the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer in Washington, D.C. They walk in memory of a friend, Robyn Cain, who lost her battle with breast cancer in 2004. Team Captain Candi Hoffman says that "after spending so much time together, training and at the Walk, I consider the girls on my team to be some of my closest friends." You see how through walking for a cause you can develop long term friendships.

"Team Maureen" is a fixture at the Avon Walk Chicago, with team members participating as walkers, volunteers and cheerleaders, all in bright green shirts and has walkers as old as 81 participating as part of the team.

Walking with others can lead to wonderful, long lasting friendships, in particular when you are walking together for a specific cause.


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