healthy walk! You’ve made a resolution to begin a walking program, but have never put those words into action. Walking is fun and easy and anyone can do it. So what are you waiting for? Get out your sneakers, tie up those laces, and let’s get moving! With fuel prices at an all time high, walking is the easiest and least expensive way to get where you need to go. Put those hard-earned dollars back into your pocket, and let’s go for a walk. Benefits of Walking The benefits of walking are endless. It can lower your risk of most diseases, make you look better, feel better, give you energy, and lift your mood. It helps you lose weight, boosts your immune system, and helps you sleep. Health Benefits * Reduces the risk of coronary disease and stroke * Lowers blood pressure and reduces cholesterol * Increases bone density, thus prevents osteoporosis * Reduces the risk of diabetes * Reduces the risk of colon cancer * Improves physical and mental well being If your plan is to lose weight, it is recommended to walk briskly at least three days a week for a minimum of thirty minutes. A maximum of sixty minutes five days a week is for more experienced walkers. Once you have lost the weight, you can maintain by walking three to four days a week for thirty to forty-five minutes. Don’t forget to swing your arms! Because walking strengthens your bones, joints have a better range of movement and muscles are more flexible. The beauty of walking is that you have to do it anyway as part of your daily routine. Walking for weight-loss needs to be at a brisk pace in order to provide a truly effective workout. Many experts now recommend exercise “intervals” where a period of time is spent at a difficult pace followed by a period of time at a slower “recovery” pace. Alternating difficult and recovery intervals can provide an extremely effective fat-burning workout and alleviate boredom. As you can imagine, more calories are burned using the interval method than in simply walking at the same pace for the same amount of time.