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Benefits of a Walking Program
Thanks Posture Research Institute

Why Walk?
I) It's safe - you won't injure yourself
2) You can do it anywhere.
3) If done l/2hr./day you  will loose 1 lb. of weight/week.
4) It conditions your  cardiovascular system safely.
5) It tones up your buttock  and abdominal muscles.
6) It relaxes you.
7) Slows the  progression of osteoporosis (calcium loss from bones).

More and more people are realizing just how beneficial and  safe walking is.Walking is good for the total body.
From legs  to lungs, from back to brain, it's the best way to keep the entire body finely tuned and trim, as health and weight conscious  folks are finding out.

'Brisk walking balances the major muscles  and brings your body better alignment', says Dr.E.Frederick,  PH. D. of Pennsylvania State Centre for Locomotion Studies.
'There's more upper body movement than there is in running.
It's a unique exercise with its own special qualities that makes it  valuable.'

How Does it Work?  
Consider all the good things  that happen to so many below-the-belt muscles when you walk.
When you take a good stride, your pelvis shifts, your buttock  muscles contract, and the lead leg pulls you forward as your
trailing leg pushes, a process that alternately flexes and relaxes front and back leg muscles.

As your hips stretch forward and  backward with each stride, they also move from side to side so your trailing leg can swing by.
This action works on your hip muscles, keeps your hip joints flexible, and makes them tug rhythmically on  your lower abdominal muscles.
Recent studies from the University of  Texas shows that walking works the lower and side abdominal muscles  extensively.
This will help flatten your tummy. Above the belt, as you pump your arms with each stride, you're building the flow and  rhythm of walking.
You're also constantly contracting and relaxing different sets of muscles in your shoulder and forearms with each movement.
Also, each time you swing a leg around in front of you,  muscles in your abdomen, side, back and chest contract to hold your  body erect.

On top of this, the more vigorous breathing expands your chest and lungs and activates your diaphragm, abdomen and  ribs.

Will it Help My Spine?  
'Walking also affects the spine  in positive ways,' says Dr. Frederick. 'lt strengthens muscles in the pelvis and lower back, which may help some people with back  problems.'

An informal poll of 492 people with a variety of back problems, published in 1985, shows that 'walking was helpful in  the long run for 98 percent of survey participants who make it a regular part of their routine.'

Many of those polled said they believe  walking makes their backs stronger, more flexible and improves  overall muscle tone.
They also noted that walking at least 30 minutes  a day, four times a week, greatly reduces stress, a major  contributing factor to back pain.

Will I Lose Weight?
Yes you will. If you go for 30 minutes walk daily each week you  will lose about one pound of weight.
But, you have to maintain  your heart rate within 60 percent of your maximum.
Why? Because at this  heart rate, you will burn more fat, compared to carbohydrates.

What Else?  
When you're out walking your muscles get into  better shape and you're shedding those unwanted pounds.
You'll also be doing nice things for the rest of your body.

Take your  heart for instance. Walking gradually strengthens heart muscles, so that your heart pumps more and can rest more between beats.
Recently, researchers at the University of Massachusetts have  finally confirmed that 'fast walking can get your heart into a  target zoneabout 70 percent of its maximum rate - and therefore qualifies as an effective method of training.'

Walking has a down side,  but its a good-for-you decline. It can reduce high blood pressure in some cases.
Bone density also improves as you walk, which is important to post menopausal women who must be concerned about the bone degenerating disease called osteoporosis.

You may also find that your energy levels rise because walking can increase the muscles' supply of glycogen (the fuel for physical  activity.)
Walking even works on your nerves as evidenced by a University of Southern Califomia study.
The researchers concluded 'that walking is more effective and safer than tranquilizers.'
Creative potential can also be tapped through walking.
A brisk, sustained pace of about a mile every 15  minutes improves fitness levels, increases hearth rate and gets more oxygen into the blood -- all of which improves your clarity. 'When there's less confusion and you can think more clearly, you tend to be more creative,' says Dr. Joan Gondola,  an exercise psychologist.

Walking Is Good For You!