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Walking for Fitness

Fitness walking has something for everyone, even people who are already fit. Walking is one of the safest ways to condition your body aerobically. It can boost energy, help you lose weight, and reduce stress.

Man and woman walking dog.

Physical benefits

  • Walking strengthens your heart and lungs, and tones your muscles.

  • When walking, your feet land with less impact than in other sports. This reduces chances of muscle, bone, and joint injury.

  • Regular walking improves your cholesterol levels and lowers your risk of heart disease. And it helps you control your blood sugar if you have diabetes.

  • Walking is a weight-bearing activity, which helps maintain bone density. This can help prevent osteoporosis.

Personal rewards

  • Taking walks can help you relax and manage stress. And fitness walking may make you feel better about yourself.

  • Walking can help you sleep better at night and make you less likely to be depressed.

  • Regular walking may help maintain your memory as you get older.

  • Walking is a great way to spend extra time with friends and family members. Be sure to invite your dog along!

Q&A about fitness walking

Q: Will walking keep me fit?

A: Yes. Regular walking at the right pace gives you all the benefits of other aerobic activities, such as jogging and swimming.

Q: Will walking help me lose weight and keep it off?

A: Yes. Per mile, walking can burn as many calories as jogging. Your health care provider can help work walking into your weight-loss plan.

Q: Is walking safe for my health?

A: Yes. Walking is safe if you have high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, or other conditions. Talk to your healthcare provider before you start.

Online Medical Reviewer: Horowitz, Diane, MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Turley, Ray, BSN, MSN
Date Last Reviewed: 4/1/2017
© 2000-2017 The StayWell Company, LLC. 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.

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