Improve Health with Walking and Stretching
A recent study by the University of Halle Wittenberg in Germany showed that combining a regimen of twice-weekly walks coupled with specific stretches and coordination exercises reduces weight, reduces blood pressure, and improves the Body Mass Index.
The study followed 18 people, with an average age of 53.6 years, for 7 weeks. For those 7 weeks, the participants met twice a week to spend one hour walking interspersed with a half hour of exercises developed by physiotherapists. Participants covered between 2.3 and 3.5 miles in the hour, walking rapidly for 3 minutes, and stopping twice to do 15 minutes of exercises focusing on stretching and loosening muscles or improving coordination. They did no other exercise or sporting activity.
The walkers and a control group of 16 people who did not exercise both met with an expert who provided tips on living a healthy lifestyle. The control group had no change in their health. The walkers, on the other hand, lost an average of 2.9 pounds, and had their heart rates lower from 131 to 122 with improved lactate and blood oxygen values. The coordination skills of the walkers also improved, but there was no change to those of the control group.