Walking offers many benefits

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Simple things like parking farther away or taking the stairs could make a big difference in your physical health.

Experts say walking is an underrated exercise.

Todd Peichel and his family are headed to the Sanford Wellness Center, but instead of taking the car they’re starting their workout before even getting to the gym.

“My wife’s biggest reason is getting out and exercising and the health part of it. Mine is just spending time with my family and getting out and moving, trying to lose the weight,” Peichel said.

Recent data from the CDC ranks South Dakota as the 22nd most obese state in America, making getting up and moving more important than ever.
Fitness trainer Maggie Fick says going for a walk is a step in the right direction.

“With walking you have a decreased risk for cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, basically it helps increase blood flow, it energizes you, gets you a little bit more awake,” Fick said.

Fick says research is currently being done to determine if 10,000 steps a day is enough — which is the amount many fitness trackers on the market recommend.

Until a specific number of steps is declared as an accurate goal, Fick suggests basing your walks on time.

“What the American College of Sports Medicine recommends is that every adult gets between 150 and 300 minutes of moderate intense exercise per week,” Fick said.

Peichel and his wife are currently meeting that goal, getting about 180 minutes of walking each week. Fick says one way to up your walking routine is by wearing a fitness tracker.

“People who wear fitness trackers on average get about 2,500 more steps a day,” Fick said.

But walking isn’t only to get up and get some exercise, experts say it also offers some mental benefits as well.

“It should be relaxing it shouldn’t be a very strenuous, stressful workout. So, it should just be fun” Fick said.

“It’s just a good time for my wife and I to talk for an hour and be together,” Peichel said.

Fick told us even more ways you can up the anty during your walking routine such as: adding incline on a treadmill, carrying weights during your walk and increasing the speed of your walk.

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