Walking is a form of aerobic exercise
and is one of the easiest ways to increase your physical activity and improve
your health. Physical activity increases your
heart rate, strengthens your heart, and increases
blood circulation through your body, bringing more oxygen and nutrients to your
organs. Exercise also increases your lungs' ability to take in oxygen, lowers
blood pressure, helps to reduce body fat, and improves blood sugar and
- Have a checkup before beginning an exercise
program. If you have heart problems, your doctor may want to do tests to find
out how much activity your heart can safely handle.
- Start out
slowly at first, with a warm-up in the beginning, a faster pace in the middle,
and a cooldown at the end.
- To stay motivated, walk with friends,
coworkers, or pets. Set goals you can reach.
- Use a pedometer to
count your steps. Wear it all day and try to take at least 2,000 more steps a
day than you normally do, and gradually increase your steps over
- Try to do at least 2½ hours of
moderate exercise a week.1
One way to do this is to be active 30 minutes a day, at least 5 days a week.