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Walk Like the Brisk Wind

By Stephen R. Farris

Walking is a great exercise to start and can help with your heart health and help you drop a few pounds too. Doing it as an exercise is different than what we normally do each day. In order to gain the health benefits of walking, it should be done at a brisk pace. Not sure where or how to start? Here's a little help.

Pick a Place, Any Place

It's as simple as that. You can do your walking in a park, inside your local mall or gym, on your street and even at church, since some worship places now have indoor activity centers with walking tracks. 

How Do I Know if I'm Walking at a Brisk Pace?

The American Heart Association considers your target heart rate for exercise should range from 50 to 85 percent for adults. Moderate exercise should fall into the 50 to 70 range, while an intense or vigorous workout usually falls into the 70 to 85 range. So brisk, in most instances, would more than likely fall into the 50-70 percent range.

Count Your Steps

To ensure you're walking briskly, you can count your steps. You might want to invest in a device to count them for you. There are apps available that you can download to your smartphone to can do this. On average, according to research, if you take 100 steps per minute, then you're actually gaining the benefits from the exercise.

Let's Talk About This

One more step you can try to see if you're on track is to do the talk test. If, while walking, you can talk and your somewhat winded, than you're doing it correctly. If you talk and you're gasping for more air while doing so, then it's probably because your pace is more vigorous. If you can talk and sing -- I promise, I will not even make a joke here -- then you're not moving briskly at all. You're more than likely just taking a leisurely stroll down the road.

Benefits

Besides weight loss, there are other benefits your body will receive such as improved heart health, lower blood pressure and lower blood sugar. 

Make sure you have comfortable shoes designed for walking or running and where the proper attire for weather conditions as well.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in St. George, Utah.

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