Walking is one of the easiest, most accessible, and lowest-impact exercises you can do. You don’t need any special equipment – just a pair of shoes and a sidewalk. And walking is an incredibly effective way to improve your health, lower stress, manage weight, and gain a variety of other health benefits.
What’s the Easiest Way to Prevent Heart Disease? Physical Activity.
It’s easy to incorporate walking into your daily routine. To get the most health benefits out of your movement, remember this acronym: FIT.
Improve Heart Health with a FIT Walking Program
According to the American Heart Association, there are three things to keep in mind when starting a walking routine: Frequency, Intensity, and Time.
It’s not necessary to set and maintain a rigid walking schedule. What’s more important is avoiding sedentary behavior. If you find yourself sitting for long periods of time, break them up with a walk.
Researchers advise walking at a speed of 3 mph or higher. However, if you’re going uphill or are on difficult terrain, a slower speed will carry the same benefits. If you’re not able to walk at that speed, don’t stress – do what you can, and work up to it!
Federal guidelines recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise every week. You can break this up however works best for you, whether that be 5 30-minute walks or a series of shorter walks. As we’ve discussed, even small bursts of physical activity provide significant benefits for heart health. What matters is that you stay active!
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