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Many studies have proven conclusively that making improvements to and maintaining your physical fitness will significantly lower your risk of developing heart disease and all other illnesses. Simple, regular exercise keeps your body in a healthy condition, and a healthy body can ward off disease much better than an unconditioned one.

Aerobic exercise

The word aerobic means "oxygen-producing", and as such aerobic exercise stimulates the production of oxygen. Aerobic exercises include those where you are in motion including walking, running, biking, swimming, etc., exercises which make your heart rate increase for an extended period of time. When your heart rate increases, this means more blood is being circulated around your body, providing necessary oxygen to your cells and tissues. Regular aerobic exercise is very important for maintaining heart health.

Anaerobic exercise

Anaerobic exercise comprises short-lived, intense bursts such as sprints and weight lifting. Whereas aerobic exercise is best for cardiovascular strength and endurance, anaerobic exercise is best for muscle strength and flexibility. This will help you maintain your health and avoid injury.

Before you start any exercise program, consult your doctor to make sure you do not have any heart conditions or other health problems that might prevent you from safely performing certain exercises. Your doctor also might be able to recommend a program that is right for you.

Fitness walking program

Very Important!

If you are new to walking start off with slow and short sessions and build your way up gradually. If you have any health concerns or medical conditions, be sure to check with your doctor for advice before you begin a routine.

You want to begin a fitness program but you do not know where to start. It's easy!

Walking is one of the easiest and most profitable forms of exercise. All you need is a good pair of shoes, comfortable clothing and desire.

How to start

First of all, start off slow and easy. Just walk out the door. For most people this means leave the house, walk for 10 minutes and walk back. That's it? Yes, that's it. Do this every day for a week. If this was easy for you, add five minutes to your walks in the second week. Keep adding 5 minutes until you are walking as long as desired.

Watch your posture

Walk tall! Think of elongating your body. Hold your head up and eyes forward. Your shoulders should be down, back and relaxed. Tighten your abdominals and buttocks and fall into a natural stride.

Drink plenty and do some stretching

Be sure to drink plenty of water before and after walking. Incorporate a warm up, cool down and some stretching into your routine. Start your walk at a slow warm up pace, then stop and do some stretching. Now you are ready to walk the desired period of time. End your walk with a slower cool down pace and do some final stretching. By this, you assist your body in injury prevention and it will give you a great feeling.

The toughest thing about starting a fitness program is to develop a habit. Daily walking will help a lot. A minimum of 5 days a week seems to be a good goal. You should walk fast enough to reach your target heart rate, but you should not be gasping for air. Vary the speed to learn more about your physical condition. After you have formed the habit you will want to evaluate your program and your goals.