Let's face it. Walking is a popular low-impact exercise. Now, new iPods are equipped with pedometers, half-marathons are packed with walkers and MapMyWalk.com and other apps can map and measure walking routes.
But even with all of these new innovations, you'll still want to pay attention to basics.
The national recommendation for regular physical activity to stay healthy is actually rather attainable. Adults are encouraged to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity five times a week or more.
This means that walking the dog, hiking, biking or walking to the metro instead of hailing a cab all count as exercise.
In fact, the Library of Medicine says walking for fitness was the primary activity reported by people who met the national recommendation for healthy exercise.
Research from the Duke University Medical Center confirms the amount of exercise is more important than the intensity, and walking yields significant aerobic benefits -- especially a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease.
Walking for fitness can help keep joints fluid, but it also may cause some soreness or stiffness in the knees and ankles. Use the following tips to get the most out of walking:
First things first -- ask the doc. Always consult with your doctor before starting any exercise routine if you have been largely sedentary or suffer from existing health conditions.