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Fitness walking is good for your heart!

Fitness walking is a gentle endurance sport which uses many muscles, including your heart. Practising fitness or power walking strengthens your heart. It's an effective way to prevent heart disease - the most common cause of death in the world. Let's take a closer look at the sport that is so close to our hearts!

Control your blood pressure by practising active walking

Do you feel the need to take control of your health? If so, get walking! Fitness walking offers a whole range of benefits, starting with lowering your blood pressure and stress levels.

This aspect is far from being purely anecdotal, states Charles Aisenberg, sports consultant affiliated with the National Institute for Sport, Expertise and Performance (INSEP). "Practising a physical activity regularly (such as fitness walking, editor's note) lowers blood pressure by 10 mm."

Controlling diabetes by practising active walking 

By striding along footpaths, fitness walkers also contribute to preventing type II diabetes.

"Active walking prevents the disease in 60 % of cases of persons in pre-diabetic phase", observes Charles Aisenberg. It "even allows patients to decrease the number of medicines they are taking and it delays complications when diabetes is already present".

Active walking and good cholesterol 

Another hidden benefit of your favourite sport: improvement of your blood fats profile. In other words, fitness walking reduces bad cholesterol and increases the good!

 

Active walking and weight loss: the two are linked!

When practised alongside a healthy diet, this "sports walking" helps you to control your weight. As the miles pass, your body will draw on its abdominal fat reserves and you will slim your figure.

 

Listen to your heart while you walk - it's well worth it!

Your heart is the barometer of your overall health, and it also governs your fitness walking session. If it is beating too fast (high heart rate), you will get out of breath and tire quickly.

The solution? Combine regular training with the right amount of physical effort.

As you increase the number and frequency of your sessions, your resting heart rate will decrease. You will also notice that it increases less quickly and less intensely during physical exertion. Your heart's performance will therefore improve and you will be able to increase your average walking speed as your exercise becomes more and more intense.

Moreover, Charles Aisenberg recommends going fitness walking for at least 20 minutes per session, three days a week, at a cardiac frequency of between 50 and 75% of your MHR (maximal heart rate).

To find out your MHR, it can be measured during a physical exertion test performed by your consultant or yourself. Then perform the following calculation: "220 minus your age" if you are a man, "226 minus your age" if you are a woman.

Adding together all of the benefits of active walking significantly improves your heart's overall function as well as your blood vessels. It is proven and even measured: in patients suffering from coronary disease, moderate physical activity reduces mortality by almost 35%!

So, are you ready to strengthen your heart muscles to improve your overall health? 

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