Making a New Years Resolution? Why Walking Outranks Running

When you receive the Seal you begin to notice your health. And you want to take better care of yourself. If you have a New Years Resolution this year to start exercising, consider these tips.

You need a little exercise during the week. But you don’t need as much as you might think. Just more than what you get now. How Much is Enough or Too Much? Experts say you should get 30 minutes of exercise, like walking 5 times a week. Or you should get 20 minutes of more intense exercise, like running 3 times a week.

If you want to start running, don’t overdo it. Don’t try to run every day when you are out of shape. Some people will tell you that the best way to start is by pushing yourself. But not if you are out of shape. If you try too hard at first, your body will likely get so tired that it needs more sleep than it can afford. So do not do it. In fact, a good idea is not to start running. Why?

Because you can lose weight just by walking, especially if you don’t exercise at this time. And walking has other benefits, too. When you walk you don’t stress your body as much as when you run. So it is not as prone to injury. You will not get bad knees and other painful problems. But you will get the exercise you need. And you may also lose weight.

But you won’t have to pay for an expensive gym if you start out by walking. You will not need special sportswear and you will not need the most expensive shoes. It is free and easy to do. Just get out there and take a walk! It will also give you some time to think. You will probably think a lot more about walking than running.

And you will not think so much about your problems when you walk because your stress will dissolve with the effort. Speaking of exertion, there is a special way of walking that can help speed up your metabolism. That will help you lose weight. What you need to do is find out what is the fastest you can walk. Compare that to your normal walking pace. Then find out what’s halfway between those two.

Begin by walking at your normal pace. Walk that way for 5 minutes. Then increase to half your maximum speed. Walk that way for 5 minutes. Then increase to your fastest speed for 5 minutes.

Then slow down gradually (not immediately) to your normal walking pace. Repeat the 5 minute intervals from normal to medium fastest to fastest a second time. That is, 2 sections with 3 walking steps of 5 minutes that add up to 15 minutes each.

That is 1 half hour of walking. A good thing to remember is that you should return to your home or car when you are done. You don’t need to walk more than half an hour every day (unless you want to). When you’re done with the first 15-minute section, just turn around and repeat the hike back to where you started. Doing these intervals will increase your metabolism more than anything else you can do, so you will lose some weight.

These are realistic goals and something you can commit to. Conventional wisdom tells you that running is the best way to lose weight, that your exercise has to be so strenuous. But if you walk these intervals, you will lose weight without much effort because your metabolism will be at its peak. And you won’t have all the effort (and pain) that is so hard to keep motivated when you’re out of shape.

When you’re sealed, God will show you how to take better care of your health. God wants you to have a long (and better) life so that you can share His joy with other people when you receive the Seal.

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