Walking is the new jogging in America. But, a study by the CDC shows that only 1 in 18 people are doing it right, doing it the way to actually reap the benefits.
The Surgeon General’s 1996 report, Physical Activity and Health, recommended “a minimum of 30 minutes of physical activity of moderate intensity on most, if not all, days of the week.” The benefits can greatly reduce health problems and it’s also been shown that walkers live longer than those who get no physical exercise at all.
Strolling Is Not Exercise
Done correctly, walking raises the heartbeat nonstop for 30 minutes, is done at least four times a week, and is done at moderate intensity. In another study, the CDC found that:
~78% of the people studied walked for 30 minutes or more
~34% walked a minimum of 4 times a week.
~26% worked at the walk, pushing themselves physically
~Only 6.7% walkers met all three requirements
Walking for 30 minutes or more is easy, but one needs to walk with good posture at a speed that raises the heartbeat for the entire 30 minutes. The whole point is to give the heart a workout that doesn’t break for 30 minutes in a row. Check with a doctor before starting such a workout.
If 30 minutes is too long for a beginner, start with 15 minutes, rest for five minutes, and then do 15 more minutes of hard walking. Build up to doing 30 minutes each time; working and pushing to go farther or faster is great work for the heart. It’s common knowledge that to improve at all, the person will have to work at it.
Walk at least four times a week. If too many days go between walks, it completely undoes all the good that was done on the last walk. Four times a week ensures walking at least every other day, which prevents losing the benefits of doing the exercise.