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Kick it up a notch

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To achieve the maximum benefit of walking, we may have to "kick it up a notch," as Chef Emeril Lagasse would say

To achieve the maximum benefit of walking, we may have to "kick it up a notch," as Chef Emeril Lagasse would say. Two studies on the effects of brisk walking show that we need to walk for longer periods of time in order to get the most out of this form of exercise.

The first study had participants take three brisk walks each week for a total of 60 minutes. This was simply not enough to improve fitness level or cardiovascular health. The second study had participants walk 150 minutes a week, over five walks. This group significantly improved aerobic fitness and decreased blood pressure. However, their body mass index did not change.

In order to achieve weight loss, walkers need to rack up a minimum of 200 minutes a week. A study reported in March 2005 in the Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine examined 201 women to determine the effect of duration and frequency of exercise on weight loss and cardiorespiratory fitness in previously sedentary, overweight, women. Those who reduced their caloric and fat intake and who walked an average of more than 200 minutes per week lost more weight than those who exercised an average of less than 150 minutes per week. Walk on!

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