Outdoor workout ideas: Walking/hiking

This is the third in a five-part series on outdoor workout ideas. These can be used to enhance your indoor workouts on home gyms, treadmills, vibration training machines, elliptical, etc.

Whoever says walking isn’t very good exercise hasn’t briskly walked for 20-30 minutes at a time, or hiked through a state park.
Walking is one of the first, most natural forms of exercise we do in our lives.
And, it can be a lifelong way to burn calories, work our muscles and feel good about ourselves.
If walking is going to be your main form of exercise, you’ll need to do it a little more often than the suggested three times a week for 30 minutes intense cardio recommendation made by many health agencies.
According to many national guidelines, you should walk at a brisk pace for 30 minutes, five days a week, to help prevent chronic disease.
Walking is a weight-bearing exercise, which means it helps not only tone muscles but improve bone health. It also helps build cardiovascular endurance.
That may sound like a lot of time spent walking, but there are lots of ways you can get in extra walking. Here are some ideas:
* Walk your kids or grandkids to school
* Park farther away from the door at the store or mall
* Walk the dog frequently
* Find a relative or friend to walk with regularly
* Invest in a treadmill for your home so you can do some of your walking indoors at your convenience
* Go exploring in a state or national park on a hike
Almost anyone can walk, regardless of fitness level.
A good pair of walking shoes and commitment is all you need.
What are you waiting for, get walking!

At Home Fitness consultant Aaron Dorksen’s blog deals with a variety of fitness topics, ranging from workout tips, motivational ideas and feature stories on how exercise impacts people’s lives. E-mail him with comments, questions or ideas for future blogs at aaron@athomefitness.com