It doesn’t take a medical doctor or fitness trainer to realize there are many benefits to walking. Most people know this and yet circle the malls with their cars several times, trying to find the closest spot to park. Walking is one of the most beneficial exercises and easy enough for every person, regardless of their fitness level. You can perform it anywhere or use elliptical machines in place of walking if the weather is inclement.
Here are the main benefits of walking using an elliptical machine.
1. It Increases Longevity
One study showed that older people with a faster gait lived longer and suffered less frequently from debilitating illnesses. The report, in the January 2011 “The Journal of the American Medical Association,” noted that after 14 years of study, they could predict which people could live longer by measuring their gait. Those with the faster gait outlived those with a slow-paced walk. It only makes sense, since a slower gait often occurs when people are less fit.
While that particular study was impressive, others also conclude that exercise, of any kind, is important to maintain health. Walking is simply one of the best and simplest methods. Burst training, a method where you exercise at your peak for 30 seconds followed by a 90-second slowdown, which you repeat several times, includes walking. This type of exercise shows a dramatic increase in the cardiovascular endurance rather rapidly. When doing this type of walking, many people feel self-conscious walking outside and prefer doing it on home exercise equipment instead.
2. You Save on Medicine
You can control your cholesterol, sugar levels and blood pressure by taking a number of different medications, but if you want to avoid the expense and hassle of medication, start walking. Those already taking medication should monitor their progress with their physician before discontinuing any prescription. You can also decrease your weight without changing anything you eat, due to the increase in calorie output. Walking is a weight bearing exercise, so you’ll also find it helps maintain or increase bone density.
Since walking is a normal activity of daily living, you can start by slowly increasing your walking even before you talk to your doctor. The key is not to attempt a marathon, just increase the amount of walking slowly and at a slow pace. Once you have the doctor’s okay, ask for help designing a plan for your condition and fitness. Your doctor will also be aware of any changes in your blood pressure, sugar levels and cholesterol levels and may lower your prescription.
3. It Improves Your Mood
After increasing the length and speed of your walk over a year, you’ll be amazed what a difference it made in your endurance. Keep a diary on your distance and time the first few weeks and compare it to your progress a year later. Make notes on your emotional and physical feelings. You’ll find you feel less agitated and happier since walking, or any type of exercise, increases serotonin, endorphins and dopamine, while burning up the cortisol your body created during times of stress, anger or fear. A fit you means a happier you.
4. You Can Workout Even When the Weather is Cold
No matter how dedicated you are to walking, sometimes it’s simply impossible to do comfortably. When the weather drops below zero, rain pours down or it’s far too hot to walk safely, the avid walker still exercises. However, they, in order to maintain fitness, use fitness elliptical machines or other insider gym equipment to fit the situation.
Weather Blues and Walking
There are a variety of different home gym equipment machines that substitute for walking during inclement weather or if your busy schedule prevents you from walking outside. Depending on your exercise area, needs and fitness, elliptical trainers, exercise bikes, rowing machines and treadmills all are excellent choices for the home gym or exercise area. Each of them has benefits and drawbacks.
Advantages of Ellipticals Over Rowing Machines, Stationary Bikes, or Treadmills
While rowing machines give you a cardiovascular workout, they’re often more difficult to learn to use than stationery bikes or elliptical equipment. Stationary bikes offer a good chance for a workout but unless you stand, don’t offer the weight bearing exercise a treadmill or elliptical trainer offers. Even treadmills have drawbacks in that they’re frequently bulkier than elliptical machines. Elliptical equipment is often the choice of those who worry about muscle or joint injury since they don’t create as much stress on the joints.
Having an alternative of exercising inside not only adds another dimension to your exercise program, to prevent boredom, it also keeps consistency in your workout program. Even when the weather is nice and you don’t have a busy schedule, sometimes you simply don’t feel like going outside to face the rest of the world. On those days you want to hunker down inside, you can use the equipment regardless of the weather.
5. You Lose Weight and Increase Your Energy
Trainers often recommend cross training for athletes, to maintain stamina and use muscles not used in their sports. Walking is the perfect exercise for these individuals as well as those who want to shed a few pounds or age without looking and feeling older. The activity, no matter how simple it seems, increases your body’s metabolism so weight loss is easier. It also can increase your ability in your chosen sport. Even non-athletic competitors, such as poker players, hire trainers and work on physical fitness before a big competition. Many claim it helps them focus and play better through the long grueling hours of tournament play. It follows the old adage, “a healthy body means a healthy mind.”
You’ll notice that everything you do becomes easier once you begin to exercise. You’ll find yourself more focused, less stressed and simple household tasks become easier. You may find the tasks not only go smoother but faster also, since you have the extra energy.
Don’t wait for tomorrow to start your walks. You can walk in place while you wait for the coffee to brew or walk down the block to the grocery instead of taking the car. Save your gas and improve your life by parking in the first spot in the shopping mall lot and walking a few more paces. When people start to notice your increased fitness, they’ll be amazed to find it occurred because you took a few extra steps every day.
About the Author: Joel is a firm believer that practicing your favorite sports will not only keep you healthier but it will also keep you in good shape. He recently discovered the power and health benefits of a walking routine. He believes that one of the best home gym equipment is the elliptical trainer. Please visit www.topfitreviews.com.