People often go for long-distance running, high-intensity cycling, or vigorous aerobics classes, to keep their heart health in good shape. But one major exercise they often undermine and skip is brisk walking, which is a simple but effective activity.
Brisk walking is a great cardio workout that can be done indoors or outdoors, at any time of day or night, and without the need for a gym membership or a lot of special gear.
All you need for a walking workout is a comfortable, sturdy pair of shoes and the motivation to lace them up and get on your feet.
Cardio is short for “cardiovascular,” which means it involves the heart (cardio) and blood vessels (vascular). Cardio is also used interchangeably with aerobic, which means “with air.”
A good cardio workout gets your heart pumping stronger and faster, moving oxygen-rich blood more efficiently to all the muscles, organs and tissue throughout your body.
You may associate all that blood-pumping action with running and wonder, “Is walking cardio?” The truth is that any activity that gets your heart and lungs, as well as your large muscle groups, working harder can be considered aerobic or cardio exercise. A brisk walk does all those things together and hassle-free.
There are many benefits of walking in addition to boosting your cardiovascular fitness. A regular brisk walking routine may help lower your risk for heart disease, stroke, and diabetes as it improves blood flow. This also helps manage high blood pressure and improve cholesterol levels. Muscles and bones get stronger due to regular movement, with least chance of injuries.
Walking also keeps your weight under control and improves your sleep. Intake of large volumes of oxygen during walking also boosts your energy levels, improves brain function, improves balance and coordination, that can come in good stead even in old age.
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