Take it to a Higher Level

by Joan Jacobsen | October 24th, 2012 | Fitness Expert

I recently came across an article regarding the effectiveness of your pace during activity when it concerns keeping your heart healthy. There is a name for a group of risk factors (such as heart disease, diabetes, and stroke) known as metabolic syndrome.

One of the aspects to maintain a healthy lifestyle and to not exhibit signs of this syndrome is to run, jog, or fast walk. Any of these activities will help us maintain a way to stay fit.

Yes, sorry to say that weekly stroll through the mall just won’t cut it.  The research was completed after a 10 year study done in Denmark with over 10,000 adults. This finding is significant due to the duration and number of participants.

Don’t get me wrong; there is nothing wrong with walking, as it definitely gets you off the couch and keeps you active. However, simply lengthening your stride and adding more oomph to your jaunt will be more advantageous than a casual saunter. The most important aspect of this is that your heart will be happy again.

An increase in your pace will generate more blood flow throughout your entire body. The physical activity of walking is classified as cardio or aerobic, but how can we justify it as that if we are only slowly pumping blood to the heart? As long as we don our running/walking shoes, we should at least play the part and add a little zip to our gait.

By using a simple pedometer, you are able to measure your stride and count the number of steps you take. Unfortunately, this device will not keep track of your blood pressure or heartbeat. There are apps on your smart phone that will calculate your pace, time, and distance, as well as blood pressure and heartbeat. Garmin, Nike, and Apple are just three companies with activity apps for your phone. It may be worth your while to look into these as an alternative to keep accounts of your physical activity.

Basically, all we need to do is step it up! If your activity of choice is walking, validate it by hastening your pace. Take advantage of this simple activity by making it beneficial and not futile. I have family members who walk fast, and by this chosen exercise they already are one step up on the healthy bandwagon. Believe it or not, fast walking is also an Olympic event known as racewalking. So break a sweat, get your juices flowing – run, jog, or fast walk as your next exercise option!

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All health and fitness information is provided for educational purposes. Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise regimen.