Weight-bearing exercises are known to benefit more than just our musculoskeletal system. By improving our metabolism, we not only help keep our weight in check, but we also are pumping more oxygenated blood to our internal organs. That, in turn, fires our immune system and keeps disease at bay.
"The surgeon general recommends that every American adult get at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day, or 150 minutes a week," Fenton says. "We know you benefit from more, but if you get at least 30 minutes a day, five days or more, it reduces your risk for cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis and its complications, clinical depression and a growing list of cancers."
The key to a more productive walking workout can be summed up in one word: intensity. To ramp up your cardiovascular system, pick up the pace. That gets the blood flowing to all our extremities and internal organs. Weight management is a pleasant byproduct.
"Cruising along at 3 miles an hour, which many people would consider a social walk, that's going to burn about 240 to 250 calories an hour," says Fenton, quoting typical numbers for a 150-pound adult. "At 4 miles an hour, you can burn up to 400 calories an hour. That's a pretty good clip."
Balance is another important component to overall fitness. Find out how weight-bearing exercise allows us to walk a fine line.