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Title:Why is brisk walking better than running and gymming?

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Keep that brisk walk routine going through Diwali. Studies say this fitness regimen is better than running and gymming

Take the sports shoes out and get into exercise mode. And that does not mean you have to trudge to the gym or take up a fancy workout class. Studies are increasingly showing that a brisk stroll is more valuable than running. This is not only a cheap option, but is also easier on your joints. While running and gymming are also intensity-based work outs that target muscle groups, studies say it is walking that beats all else. Here's a lowdown on these...

BRISK WALKING
You're relying on your own two feet, so make them as comfortable as possible. Wear light flexible shoes that are not too fitting. Start with a warm up and a few stretches. Beginners can start with 20 minutes power-walks at least thrice a week and increase the pace slowly. The right walking action is, land on the heels, rolling through the step and push off again from the toes. Also, raise the chin upwards and don't slouch. For a stronger stride, bend the elbows till they are at 90 degrees with the body and closing the fists, swing your arms from the waist to your chest. You can also do an interval training walk where you break into a quick burst of speedy stride for a minute and then slow down.

Different walking workouts
- Hold an exercise band in your arms while you walk to tone the upper body
- Tighten the butt as you take steps to firm up
- Do lunges as you cool down the walk for a great stretch
Study: For healthy adults, a heart association recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise, like walking, or 75 minutes of vigorous activity (or a combination of both).
Advantages: Walking wakes up even the tiniest muscles and does not put much strain on the joints. It lowers the BMI and the risk of Type II diabetes as well as heart disease.
Disadvantages: It may not have such an intense calorie burn.

RUNNING
This is one of the most popular regimens, but studies say otherwise. "Today, people as young as 20 are getting heart attacks on the treadmill. Also, having low endurance levels and being unprepared can be detrimental to the heart," warns cardiologist Dr Rahul Gupta. "If the heart is untrained and the adrenaline increases, inflammation may occur in the coronary arteries. The increase in blood flow to the heart leads to microtears or plaque rupture. Also, if someone has minor blockages (plaques) they aren't aware of, and they get a tear, it can lead to a clot and blood supply to that place becomes obstructed; this causes heart attacks. Thus, if you feel tightness and breathless, stop immediately. Brisk walking is safer, but if you want to run, see that your body is well prepared first," he adds. How much? An average run burns roughly 10 calories a minute.
Advantages: Running can keep the heart healthy, boost the mood and burn calories. It's also good for those crunched for time.
Disadvantages: Running is more tiring than you realise. It also increases the risk for joint injuries and can stress the body.

Lunchtime walking groups on the rise
Sitting for long hours has been called a 'silent killer' in offices and to combat this, more corporates are taking up a power walk in the middle of the day. Several offices have kicked off a 'lunch hour walking group' where a different person leads the group every day. It was found that this activity boosted productivity and motivation levels, decreased fatigue and elevated the mood.

Hitting the gym
Want to lose the kilos? Ditch the gym. A new study says a brisk stroll is better than a workout. Scientists found 30 minutes of 'high impact' walking is more effective for fighting the flab than the same time spent on doing weights and pounding the treadmill. Dr Grace Lordan, who led a study on this, compared exercises that raise the heart rate and cause sweating — such as brisk walking, swimming, cycling, gym workouts, dancing, running, jogging, football and squash. And the study found that those who did a half-hour stroll had lowest body mass index and smaller waists. He said, "We show that individuals who walk at a brisk or fast pace are more likely to have a lower weight when compared to individuals doing other activities."
Advantages: Gym workouts improve blood circulation. Also, these workout plans are tailored as per your body and capacity so they have many benefits. Doing weights and kettlebell as well as squats also increases bone and muscle strength.

Disadvantages: Treadmill and other cardio workouts can get boring if you do the same thing each time. Often, people use the wrong stride length on the gym belt as it may be because the treadmill is short or too long. With temperatures set to turn pleasant soon, time you got into your tracks and started walking?

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