HIIT workouts and gym memberships may seem like obvious health and fitness choices; but they’re not for everyone. There’s something you do every day that can provide just as much of a boost to your health.

We’re talking about walking!

1. A healthy heart

Exercise is good for your heart! Research suggests that walking could have a more positive impact on your health than running.

Research published by the American Heart Association in 2013 tracked the heart health of 48,000 people over six years. It found that those who regularly took a brisk walk cut their risk of heart disease by 9.3%, compared with just 4.5% for runners.

The same research revealed that walking was also better at tackling high cholesterol and high blood pressure. High cholesterol risk was down 7% for walkers, with just 4.3% for runners, while similar results were recorded for high blood pressure.

The Stroke Association suggests that taking a 30-minute walk every day can lower your risk of strokes by as much as 27%.

2. Lose weight

The key to losing weight is to shift your metabolism to burn primarily fat for fuel, not carbohydrates. Low intensity exercise is the foundation of all base training because it creates a fat burning metabolism. Because walking by nature is a low intensity exercise, it is a fabulous way to shift the metabolic engine into weight loss gear. Walking in your fat burning zone is the key to dropping weight and raising metabolic efficiency.

3. Reduce risk of diabetes

Studies have shown that a daily 30-minute walk can cut diabetes risk by up to 60% and improve your blood sugar control.

4. Protect your brain against dementia

You can walk to slow the aging process down. The 2013 study showed that three half-hour walks a week caused the areas of the brain associated with memory and processing information to increase in size.

The prefrontal cortex and hippocampus grew between 2% and 3% in test subjects, hypothetically slowing down the natural aging process.

5. Toned muscles

Occasional hill walking has the potential to improve a range of muscles, especially your glutes, hamstrings, and calves. But walkers need to take hills cautiously; stepping into this intensity after building joint stability and achieving structural gait mobility to prevent injury and over training consequences.

Improving your muscle-to-fat ratio aides metabolic efficiency; muscles require more fuel and the optimal clean fuel is fat.

6. Get plenty of Vitamin D

Vitamin D is essential for healthy bones; sunlight is one of your best sources of vitamin D.

If you usually exercise at the gym, you’re not getting any daylight.

7. Boost circulation

A strong heart impacts blood flow. Blood carries all the nutrition and oxygen your muscles need to function properly. Poor circulation can result in a condition called peripheral artery disease. Symptoms of this include painful cramps in your leg muscles, due to the fact they’re not getting as much blood as they should.

8. Improve your mood and awareness

Exercise is known to improve mental health through the production and balance of mood enhancing hormones. This is why movement such as walking regularly is recommended for people suffering from depression, anxiety or stress.

A 2016 study from Iowa State University proved that no matter where you walk, the psychological boost you get from exercising is consistent, so just walk; it doesn’t have to be an adventure.

9. Sleep better

Walking to lose weight has many benefits including better sleep.

Extra weight is one of the main causes of a condition known as sleep apnoea causing airways to close up during sleep resulting in sleeplessness as your Respiratory System forces you awake to breathe.

10. Build strong bones

Bones begin to weaken after the age of 35. It’s important to exercise regularly in order to increase bone density and strength. A PHASE IV Master Walking Routine will incorporate hills and speeds that will vary intensities directed at keep your bones strong.

11. Care for your joints

Walking weights your joints. This is a good thing; because if you don’t use them, you’ll lose them.

Unlike muscles, joints don’t receive any blood from your body. However, they still need oxygen and nutrients to function at their best. Each step you take helps to achieve and sustain healthy joints free of arthritis.

12. Curb cravings

Exercise creates that same feeling of satisfaction and elevated mood that sugar gives us. Exercise replaces the need for sugary snacks and empty calories.

13. Easy to work into your day

Walking can naturally fit into your day. At PHASE IV we look at ways to make fitness practical and incorporate exercise into your day.

14. All ages can walk

We do not believe in the Pain Gain Theory at PHASE IV for any age client. Exercise movements need not be challenging for anyone. One thing we’ve learned after 35 years of helping people just like you reach their goals is this: You are too hard on yourself. Our exercise, nutrition, and weight management plans incorporate Recovery periods; because we know that only through recovery does the human body gain strength and fitness. No workout ever made anyone stronger; in fact, too much exercise is a very bad thing.

15. Walkers compete in Marathons!

On March 24, 2019 the LA Marathon will host thousands of walkers. PHASE IV Master Walking Program has prepared dozens of participants to walk the Stadium to the Sea and cross the finish line in good form. No matter your skill level or age, you can celebrate as an LA Marathon Finish.

Call PHASE IV and get your free Walking Consultation today!

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