Yes, the weather is finally settling down to spring time temperatures. And you’re finally beginning your commitment to lose that extra baggage that caused you to make your New Year’s resolutions of losing weight. You did pretty well from the beginning of January until now. Trying to keep to a healthy diet, getting some exercise indoors while the snow and wind blew outside your home.

You may not realize it but walking for weight loss may even be more effective than running. Which is great news since right now, your just not ready to take on a 5K. But give it time, and you will be. IF, if you stick to your commitment to walk on a daily basis!

Researches and trainers alike agree that people who regularly walk briskly found themselves weighing less in a measured length of time. In fact, the study has shown that walkers can lose weight just as much if not more than those that take part in other physical activity, such as running, swimming and cycling.

Walking, brisk walking can not only help you transform your body but also your mind. In fact, research shows it can add almost two years to your life. And who doesn’t want to live a longer, productive life?

One study done in Canada found that an hour-long brisk walk every day reduced the belly fat in women who took part in the study by 20% over a 14-week period. But walking can benefit your body in other significant ways too.

Helps to Prevent Strokes: Two hours of walking per week can cut your risk of having a stroke by 30%! It also helps protect areas of your brain associated with planning, and memory. And walking for 30 minutes a day has even been found to reduce symptoms of depression by 36%, due to the release of endorphins in your body.

Walking Can Help Strengthen Your Bones: A walking regimen is good for you in so many ways. Walking, four hours per week can slash your chances of having a hip fracture by up to 43%. So, the more you're active, by walking the more mobile you're likely to be, later in your life.

Don't forget your heart! A new study of more than 89,000 women found that those who walked for only 40 minutes two or three times per week, had up to a 30% lower chance of heart failure, after menopause than those who did it less often or more slowly. Remember, in order to gain the benefits of a walking regimen, you need to walk briskly!

This means walking at a fast-enough pace that you can carry on a conversation with someone with just a little difficulty. If you’re walking alone, as I do, try singing to yourself, if you can sing while walking briskly your walking at a pace that will benefit you. If you have difficulty doing this, then slow down the pace until you can sing the lyrics so that they can be understood. Just keep in mind that the more you walk, the easier it’s going to be to increase your pace, and your distance.

Tracking just how much you’re walking, along with the distance you’re going and how much time it's taking you to get there is also important. After all, increasing your distance while spending the same amount of time is making your body work a bit harder, which is going to burn more calories. Using a Fitness tracker, like the Fitbit Alta HR Activity Tracker can do this and more.

After all everyone’s health and fitness journey is different, find yours with Fitbit Alta HR. With this wrist-based device you’re not only tracking your activity, but also keeping track of your heart rate with the power of Pure Pulse heart rate in a slim wristband so you can better track your calorie burn, gauge exercise intensity, and see resting heart rate trends. You can track all the basics like steps, distance and calories burned, and get reminders to "Move" that motivates you to keep you walking, each and every day. Keep track of your walking regimen with the Fit Bit Alta.

A good rule of thumb according to the CDC is to walk at a minimum of 150 minutes per week. That equates out to only 30 minutes per day. As you can see, while walking 5 days a week for 30 minutes can go a long way to getting your body into the shape it was always meant to be in, increasing a distance goal within that 30 minutes can provide you with continued health benefits such as increasing your muscle growth, increasing your stamina and lung power.

Setting realistic goals from the very beginning on your path to a healthier lifestyle can aid you in staying motivated. People like to be competitive, and setting a goal, reaching that goal and when you do, setting a new one is what makes a personal walking regimen new. And the rewards of seeing the results in feeling better and losing a few inches from your waistline will go a long way in providing you with the drive to continue walking your way to a fitter, healthier you!

Remember, before engaging in any new physical activity have yourself checked out with your family doctor. Inform them what kind of exercise you plan on doing, how often, and let them decide if your physically fit enough to begin this new lifestyle change. Naturally, they’re going to applaud your enthusiasm to get in better shape but knowing in advance if you have any physical conditions that could possibly cause a problem will allow you to take the proper care of yourself when engaging in your new walking program. As always, better safe than sorry!

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