a google search with those words will give you almost unlimited information. Here is what came up from the Mayo clinic http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/walking/art….
The link Karin provided is a great answer to your question. I would only add that if you want to make your walking a bit more challenging you can carry a backpack with some extra weight in it. Also choosing to walk on a variety of inclines and surfaces (grass, sand, trail, water, hills, stairs, etc.) can increase the intensity and difficulty or your walking.
First, walking is an excellent choice for someone just starting (or restarting) a fitness program. It is something that costs nothing and most people do pretty well instinctively. (If you have pain when you walk, you should see your physician and find out if it is unavoidable or not.) When you walk it is important to keep the arms slightly bent to about 90 degrees bent. Swing the arms counter to the legs and gently open and close the hands. This is especially important for those who notice swelling of the hands during their walks.
Once you have built upto walking regularly, you can add more intentional effort in short bouts with the objective of increasing the effort over time for the entire walk.
The benefits are well documented and as said above, a simple search of “benefits of walking” will give you millions of sites. So I am not going to bother with that here. If you come to be considering trying to increase the intensity or challenge of your walks, I strongly urge you to speak with a fitness professional. Your entire structural support system can be forced out of alignment and underlying issues could be aggravated un-necessarily by improper progression. Adding weight for instance, requires preparation of the muscles that will be required to maintain posture and support the weight. And never add ankle weights, these are almost always a bad idea no matter how fit the individual.
Hello Anne Rothrock,
Oh, there are so many. Since you already have the sites to look at, I will only add: what do you want walking to do for you? Walking will most likely help do it for you, as we are built to walk. Peace of mind, if nothing else, is a huge benefit. Keep on walking.
Natalie aka NAPS 2 B Fit.
There are many good answers here. There are multiple, well-documented benefits to walking. In addition to the article that Karin cited, here’s another good one from the American Heart Association: http://www.startwalkingnow.org/whystart_benefits_walking.jsp
Don’t listen to all the BS that walking is a waste of time because it’s ineffective for “torching belly fat” and all the other buzz phrases that are out there today. Some of it may be so, but there are still plenty of benefits to walking. It’s a great activity regardless of your fitness level – even if it just gets you out of the house for a while for some fresh air. It’s also a great reason to get (rescue) a dog if you don’t have one – everybody wins! Enjoy your walks Anne.