Most people know that it is important to get lots of exercise but did you know that brisk walking counts towards your total weekly exercise time? Healthy adults are advised to get two-and-a-half hours of aerobic exercise per week and to engage in strength-building activities such as lifting weights or doing bodyweight exercises twice a week. Going for a brisk walk is one of the easiest and most convenient exercise that you can do.
Low impact and good cardio
If you have been sedentary for a long time or you are overweight, walking is a good introduction to exercise. Firstly, it is free. You can go for a walk anywhere and you do not need any expensive equipment to do it. Secondly, it is low impact, which means that you do not have to jump and bounce around, putting unnecessary stress on your joints.
In addition, since you do not have to go to the gym or attend a class to go walking, you do not have to worry about holding up the class or embarrassing yourself by wearing gym clothes. You can walk in any comfortable clothing.
To enjoy the health benefits of going for a walk, you have to walk at a fairly fast pace. You can tell you are walking fast enough if you are feeling a little breathless and your heart rate goes up. You should not be gasping for breath, but it should be an effort to hold a conversation.
At this level of intensity, your heart rate is elevated and you find yourself breathing deeply. This means that you are getting some moderate intensity cardiovascular exercise. If you exercise like this regularly, the efficiency of your heart and lungs will improve. While you are exercising and for a little while afterwards, your metabolic rate increases as your body needs to burn more calories to fuel your muscles for the activity that you are doing. If you burn more calories throughout the day than you eat, then you will lose weight.
Combine exercise with a healthy diet
Of course, exercise is just one part of a healthy lifestyle. You cannot out-train a bad diet and if you walk every day but eat a pizza every night. You will gain weight and the heart-health benefits of those walks will be outweighed by the junk food that you are putting into your system. To stay healthy, you must exercise regularly and eat smart.
The paleo diet is a good diet for people who are looking for a sustainable, easy to follow set of rules for their eating habits. With the paleo diet, you do not have to worry about meal timing or complex food combinations. You can summarise the diet with just one rule – if a caveman could not eat a certain kind of food, you should avoid it. This means that you can eat grass-fed or ethically raised meats, eggs, organic vegetables, locally grown in-season fruits, nuts and berries. You should stay away from ready meals and processed goods.