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Simply Fit, by Cindy Haskin-Popp, will help you make physical activity a part of everyday life. The health benefits of regular exercise and overall daily physical activity will be discussed. Fun, practical and easy-to-follow tips on an exercise program will be shared, as will the most current research. Fitness tips for families and seniors, on fitness centers and on buying proper and affordable equipment will be regularly given. 

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Walk This Way

Does your walking routine need a little boost? Re-energize your walks with these ideas that will keep boredom at bay and your heart pumping.

Change the Terrain
Head to the beach - walking in the sand almost doubles the energy you expend when compared to walking the same distance on pavement. This is because your body has to work harder to stabilize itself against the shifting sand.
Go to the hills - strengthen your quadriceps and buttocks muscles by adding a hill workout once or twice a week. Trekking up a hill will help you to burn more calories than if you were to remain on level ground.
Go with the flow at the pool - walking in water up to your underarms provides resistance that challenges your muscles and cardiovascular system. Some research even suggests that walking in water can help to improve your balance on land.

Change the Pace
Interval train - add 2 0r 3 segments of faster paced walking into your workout. You can use landmarks to designate faster periods throughout your route or rely on time intervals (e.g., 5 minutes of moderate-intensity walking followed by 3 minutes of vigorous-intensity walking).
Add a slow jog - substitute your walk with a jog once or twice a week.

Seek New Scenery
Visit state or national parks - stimulate your senses by heading to the trails. Smelling the sweetness of the woods and catching glimpses of wildlife will be a welcome distraction from the mundane for your mind.
Go to the city - the hustle and bustle of a downtown can energize your walk.

Incorporate Mini Exercise Stations
Park benches aren't just for sitting - break up your walk by stopping to use a park bench to perform triceps dips or push-ups.
You won't be barking up the wrong tree if you stop to do chin-ups from one of its strong limbs; or, if you use its trunk to build lower body strength and core stabilizers as you transform the traditional "wall sit" to a "tree sit" exercise.

Take Along the Toys
Use a handheld GPS to explore a new path.
Keep tabs on your heart rate by investing in a heart rate monitor.
Count your steps with a pedometer.
Burn more calories by walking with handheld weights or trekking poles (Nordic Walking).

Note: Before beginning an exercise program or increasing the intensity level of a current routine, a physician's approval should be obtained, especially for older adults and those at risk for or who currently have chronic health conditions.

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