Walking | Body Slimming A little walk in the East Coast won't hurt. In fact, apart from its mental health benefits, walking is proven effective to reduce risks of cancer and give a healthier life by lowering high blood pressure and reducing risks of stroke.

So, go ahead, trade your wheels to a pair of shoes and remember how it felt like when you first learnt your first steps.

Losing Weight | Obesity Prevents Obesity

Obesity is a medical condition, whereby a person's body mass index (BMI) is greater than 30 kg/m2. A BMI between 25 kg/m2 and 30 kg/m2 is already considered overweight. The accumulation of excess body fats poses serious threats to a person's health.

How does walking help prevent obesity?

An active lifestyle is a great prevention to obesity. A simple activity like walking is a good way to work out your muscles and eliminate stubborn fats.

Regardless of weight, being physically active for at least 30 minutes a day helps you burn approximately 150 calories, which in turn, reduces health risks.

To lose weight by walking, you have to increase the distance that you usually walk as it is how you burn calories, by using much energy. The farther the distance you cover, the more energy you consume.

To burn fats, walk far and fast. Walking helps you trim down only if you go beyond your usual pace and distance. It takes 3500 calories of activity to eliminate 1 pound of fat. Many health experts suggest you walk 20-30-minute, 3 to 5 sessions a week for general health benefits.

Lose Weight | Metabolism Speeds up Metabolism

Metabolism is the process of converting your food and beverage intake into energy. This converted energy is what our body needs to do our daily acitvities from breathing to moving.

In the words of Robert Yanagisawa of Mount Sinai, New York, "The process of metabolism establishes the rate at which we burn our calories and, ultimately, how quickly wegain weight or how easily we lose it."

How does walking speed up metabolism? And is slow metabolism a culprit to lose weight?

If you haven't got the time or the resources to enrol in a fitness program, consider walking as part of your daily routine to increase your metabolism. How? Walking heats up your body and burns more calories.

Walking speeds up metabolism by adding resistance to your body. This physical activity allows you to burn more calories than you normally would and will cause more muscle fibre to work specially with few accessories like carrying back packs or books or dumbbells.

While metabolism plays a role in a person's weight, you must understand as well that a sluggish metabolism isn't the main culprit for weight gain, but a matter of diet and exercise. And the more you starve yourself, the slower your metabolism gets.

Weight Slimming | Osteoporosis Prevents Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a bone disease that leads to fracture as bones are weak and brittle, porous. According to the Osteoporosis Society of Singapore, osteoporosis will become an even more significant problem in future as the aging group in Singapore increases in the next 20 years.

How can walking prevent bone loss?

Although walking is not an ultimate solution or prevention to osteoporosis, this form of exercise still makes a significant contribution to ward off bone loss. The goal is to just keep on moving as bones respond to pressure from weight by forming more bones.

Brisk walking can lead to bone mineral density (BMD) gain. BMD is the amount of bone tissue in a certain bone volume. If your bones contain a high mineral content (like calcium), they are less likely to break. Walking

If you already have osteoporosis, always check with your doctor before you undergo any exercise to prevent bone fracture.

Body Slimming | Heart Risk Cut Heart Risks

According to the Ministry of Health, 15 people die everyday from cardiovascular disease (heart disease and stroke) in Singapore. And in 2008, cardiovascular disease accounted for 32.4% of all deaths, a ratio of 1:3.

How can walking reduce the risks of heart diseases?

Staying active and living a healthy lifestyle greatly affect a person's cardiovascular condition. It may not be for weight loss, but moderate exercise, such as a daily 30-minute walk reduces your risks of dying of heart disease.

• Improve your blood pressure and blood sugar
• Improve your cholesterol
• Reduce your risk of coronary heart disease

A study conducted at the National Public Health Institute in Finland reveals that moderately active people suffering from type 2 diabetes reduced their risk of dying from heart disease by 39%, and by 48% for those who were highly active.

Brisk Walking | Stress Relieve Stress

Stress is good, but when it reaches beyond a person's stress threshold, that's another story. Different situations cause pressure to people. While some are short term, the long-term stresses pose havoc to a person's health like weakening the body's immune system.

How can walking help relieve stress?

Perhaps walking is the cheapest, most convenient, and the most immediate way to combat stress. When walking, you get to gain a different, better perspective of things. You release endorphins, which are powerful brain chemicals to stimulate relaxation and relieve pain.  And a however mindless activity it may seem, walking helps you release negative energy in the form of sweat or perspiration.

So, walk like a free wanderer. Explore and take time to smell the flowers. Research shows that an easy stroll could equate the effectiveness of brisk walking.

Walking and Drinking
Drinking Enough Water
If you walk for more than 20 minutes, carry water with you. Drink enough water to keep you hydrated and moisten your mouth. It is advisable to drink water after each mile or every after 30 minutes. For longer walks, take electrolytes-replacement sports drink like Gatorade to replace the salt lost when sweating.
Avoid Milk and Cream
Avoid milk and cream. If you are lactose intolerant, do not drink milk products for 12 hours before your walk to avoid lactose-related illness like diarrhea, nausea, or gas.
Alcoholic Beverages
No alcoholic beverages, please. Alcoholic beverages like beer makes one more dehydrated and quite possibly to lessen your athletic ability and judgment. Before major works, make sure you get enough rest the night before and avoid alcohol. Otherwise, you 're likely to get heat sick.
Walking and Eating
Eat Light Food
Eat light before walking. Fuel is essential when doing exerises as it builds good stamina. However, too much food before an exercise, or a walk for that matter, may upset your stomach and make you feel uncomfortable. Focus on easily-digested carbohydrates for a quick fuel boost like pasta, bread, or energy bar.
Eat Fresh Fruits
Eat fresh fruits. For easy digestion and get the most out of your cardiovascular workout, eat lightly before exercise. If you are hungry at exercise time, choose a piece of fruit like banana or a sports drink.