Walking is the easiest way of exercise because it is accessible at anyplace, anywhere and anytime. Several studies show that walking can:
* reduce high cholesterol and improve blood lipid profile
* reduce body fat
* enhance mental well being
* increase bone density, hence helping to prevent osteoporosis
* reduce the risk of cancer of the colon
* reduce the risk of non insulin dependant diabetes
* help osteoarthritis
* help flexibility and co-ordination hence reducing the risk of falls
Although walking can reduce body fat for weight loss purpose, it is actually not an effective option of exercise, because it doesn't burn lots of calories and only bring small increase in metabolism. In fact, you will have to walk for hours everyday if you want to burn fat! High intensity cardiovascular or aerobic exercise 2-3 times a week will be much more effective in burning off the excess body fat or losing weight.
Walking is more effective if maintaining or controlling your body weight. Walking at a faster pace can help improving cardiovascular function and fitness level, while walking at a slower pace can help building up endurance because of longer exercise time. In this case, speed and distance does matter. The faster and the further a person walks, the more calories he will use.
So, what to do now? Depends on your goals, if you want to lose weight and love walking, you can combine them together in your exercise schedule, 2-3 times a week for high-intensity cardio or aerobic exercise and 2-3 times a week walking with your family, and make sure be free one or two days. If you want to reduce risk of diseases or maintaining body weight / health, walking 2-3 times a week will help.