Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Walking Pill?

If you could just put it in a pill, walking would be the most popular prescription in the world. Why? The benefits—it’s free, you can do it any time, any place, and it’s really good for you. And with the holidays (and their common 2 to 5 pounds of weight gain) looming, now’s a great time to start. Walking will help:

· Control your blood pressure

· Boost LDL (good cholesterol) and lower HDL (bad cholesterol)

· Reduce stroke and heart attack risk

· Reduce risk of breast cancer

· Reduce risk of type 2 diabetes (cut the risk in half!) and if you have type 2 diabetes, walking helps keep it under control

· Control weight

· Lower risk for gallstone surgery

· Protect against hip fracture

· And—there’s more. A brisk walk can elevate your mood, improve sleep, lower stress level, relieve arthritis and back pain, and strengthen muscles, bones and joints

Walking briskly for one mile in 15 minutes burns about the same number of calories as jogging an equal distance in 8.5 minutes. And walking an extra 20 minutes each day will burn off 7 pounds of body fat per year. With each step you take, you will be helping to prevent chronic health conditions. So—isn’t it time to walk toward long-term health and wellness?

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