Any committed walker will tell you: Putting one foot in front of the other isn't about weight loss (or at least it's not only about that). It's about living the good life.
One of the best benefits of exercise turns out to be the huge leap in quality of life it produces. From carrying groceries up stairs with ease to feeling energized enough to keep up with social obligations, exercise makes life better. Even if you never shed a pound from it!
A lot of people start a walking program with the aim of a svelte silhouette. And that's fine—great, even! But there's a lot more to exercise than just changing your body. Research shows that the more people work out, the more their quality of life improves. Physical health, mental health, vitality, productivity, social energy—it all gets better in proportion to how much people move.
What's your goal?
Try to get at least 30 minutes of moderately vigorous physical activity on most days of the week. Even this baseline amount will improve your quality of life—although more exercise will do more for you. Have trouble squeezing exercise into your schedule? Any amount helps. In a study of postmenopausal women, even those who exercised barely more than an hour a week saw improvements in some quality of life measures. So wake up your muscles with these moves:
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