Welcome, or Welcome Back--to the Dr. Sinatra Walking Club! If you missed the official introduction, click here to see all the details.
I truly love walking! Ever since I was in high school, I've been an avid walker. To me, nothing feels better than lacing up my walking shoes and getting out in the fresh air for a brisk walk. But I have friends who take spin classes and zumba classes, or cycle for miles on end--and they're always telling them I would get greater exercise benefits if I gave up my walking and joined them.
I asked Dr. Sinatra about that--and he said that walking is extremely effective exercise. He cited a two-week Dutch study reported in Nature. A sophisticated device was used to measure energy expenditure of 30 healthy adults. Researchers found that moderate activity was actually superior to vigorous exercise for expending energy!
In fact, Dr. Sinatra says that if you want to use a heart rate monitor to pace yourself, that's great, but go no higher than 70% of your maximal heart rate. Do not exert yourself at 80 or 85 percent, as so many fitness gurus used to advise! (To get a rough idea of your maximal heart rate, subtract your age from 220. Multiply the answer by 0.70; the result is your target heart rate.) As Dr. Sinatra says, 70% may feel slow if you're an exercise "junkie." If it does, it's a sign you may be addicted to the endorphin release that often results from strenuous activity. You need to take life a little easier!
That's all I needed to hear to reinforce what I already knew--that walking is great exercise!
1) Please leave a comment to share how long you've been walking--if you're just starting, share that too!
2) Also, if you've walked this week--feel free to log in your time, hours, or miles walked. Or, if you're just starting your walking program this week, share that too!
Remember to consult your doctor before starting a new exercise program.