How Aerobic Walking Improves Your Looks
By Charles Hopkins
Published 09/20/2007 | Fitness
Aerobic walking contributes both towards health and beauty. You can
become slimmer and healthier by walking, which is safe, inexpensive,
convenient and needs no special facilities or equipment. Many people
are worried about aerobic exercises thinking that they cannot keep up
the pace with others. However, aerobic walking is great for all ages
and fitness levels, and easy to do.
Of all aerobic exercises, walking has the most advantages. However,
it is only moderately aerobic. While ordinary brisk walking uses mostly
the calf muscles to power the forward motion, aerobic walking uses the
whole leg for power. Using virtually all the muscles of the lower body
results in a greater metabolic change and significant improvement in
health and appearance.
Using the large muscle groups for power also increases the walking
speed and this increases your sense of self-confidence. In addition,
the smoothness of the technique minimizes the vertical forces on the
joints of the body at every stride, making it a safe exercise.
In most weight reducing programs, people generally set goals of
losing a certain number of pounds. However, it is not just the weight
that people are interested in. As they lose weight, they are also
concerned about the size of waist, thighs and so on. There is yet
another focus for reducing weight and that is shape.
Shape is not just slimness. There are slim people who have flabby
tissues, a bit of a pot belly and an overall appearance that may not be
so appealing. There are others who have flat abdomens, well-shaped arms
and legs and full of vitality.
So, what is the difference with the two groups of people? Much of
it is in the tone of the muscles. Dieting can help you lose weight and
inches, but only exercise can help you get into shape. Besides weight,
size and shape, posture, grace and presence add to the whole aesthetic
Weight is not just a function of size. It is also a matter of how
much of it is fat and how much is lean tissue. Lean tissue is heavier
than fat. In comparing two people with the same weight, you will find
that the one with strong muscle and less fat will look smaller than the
one with less muscle and more fat. So, small weight differences may not
indicate fat gain or loss. Do not allow such little changes to be the
cause for elation or dejection. Work at the longer lasting results.
Size again is another relative measure. A 22 inch waist on an
average height person looks great but the same on a tall person will be
cause for concern. Measurements must be relative to height and the body
You should also measure other dimensions besides waist size. Hips,
thighs, midriff, abdomen, chest and upper arms all contribute to how
you look. Using exercise, specifically aerobic walking, you lose inches
faster than weight. The tape measure will be a better way of measuring
results rather than the weighing scale.
The easier way is, of course, when you can get into clothes that you have not been able to get into.
Dietary restrictions help in weight and size improvements, but do
not help in shape improvements. With dieting, you can lose fat and
become thin, but a bulging belly will not be flattened. When dieting,
you lose weight not only in fat, but also in water and lean tissue.
In contrast to only dieting, aerobic walking yields a slim figure
with only fat loss. There is a slight gain in lean tissue, and cells of
vital tissues and organs are better able to utilize water in their
metabolism. The muscles used in the exercise become toned and shaped,
with no fat to hide them.
A good posture can add to the illusion of not just height but also self-assurance.
Aerobic walking provides mild, sustained exercise for the lower
back muscles in balance with the abdominal muscles, which is great for
posture. Aerobic walking itself requires one to hold the head high and
in line with the body's center of gravity, which further contributes to
A great shape is enhanced by good posture. This can be taken a step
further by adding grace. The smoothness of the stride and strength, yet
seeming ease of movement adds life to posture.
The convenience of modern civilization has made sitters of us
instead of walkers. Aerobic walking provides the fluid motion that
spares the jarring of the knees and spine, enabling even runners with
chronic knee problems to get a good workout.
Presence comes from among other things, posture, stride,
self-confidence, energy and vitality. While aerobic walking does not
directly confer this, it does however bring you the elements that
contribute to it.
As you become adept at aerobic walking techniques and start working at levels that bring metabolic change, you can expect
- A slimmer, stronger body
- Tall, proud posture
- Purposeful and effortless movement
- Enhanced self-esteem
To top all of these, aerobic walking bestows a more youthful appearance by granting vitality and a strong stride.