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    Walking for fitness is a great way to lose weight while gaining strength and promoting a healthy lifestyle, and the best part is that you’re already really good at it.  The fitness benefits of walking are nearly endless, and all you need to get started is a pair of sneakers and you’re ready to go!

    Weight loss

    Regular walking helps you to burn calories and lose weight.  Although you may think that you need vigorous exercise such as running or jogging to drop pounds, this isn’t necessary.  A brisk walk several times a week is all you need to start the weight loss process.  Also keep in mind that since walking is more low impact than running or jogging you are less likely to damage joints, so walking can keep you exercising for longer.  Weight loss can come with a number of benefits, such as lessening of arthritis pain, a lower risk for diabetes and some cancers, as well as a lower risk of heart disease. 

    Lower your risk of heart disease

    Becoming fit through walking can help you to reduce the risk of heart disease in a number of ways, not just through weight loss.  Regular exercise, including walking, lowers both blood pressure and cholesterol levels, two very strong risk factors for heart disease. 

    Mental health

    Feeling blue?  Walking, just like any exercise, can help to stabilize your mood.  Walking releases endorphins, a brain chemical involved in promoting happiness.  Exercise can also help to reduce stress, making you better able to cope on those days when you’re just feeling overwhelmed. 

    Strength

    One of the greatest fitness benefits of walking is the strength and endurance you will develop.  Walking builds the muscles in your legs, and makes you better able to walk longer distances.  At first you may only be able to walk for a short distance, but don’t be discouraged.  The more you walk the stronger you will become, and each time you will be able to walk a little further.  Soon you’ll find that you’re no longer huffing and puffing up those flights of stairs!

    To gain the fitness benefits of walking, a minimum of 30 minutes of brisk walking several days a week is recommended.  Of course, the more you walk the more benefits you will see, so make sure to walk as often as you can! 

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