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KAISER PERMANENTE: WALK YOUR WAY TO HEALTH

 KAISER PERMANENTE: WALK YOUR WAY TO HEALTH
 OAKLAND, Calif., Sept. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Getting in shape doesn't


have to include running hundreds of miles each week. Try walking your way to health and total body fitness.
 "Walking can give you the same health benefits as strenuous exercises like jogging or bicycling without putting your body through lots of wear and tear," says Melonee Dean, health educator at the Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, Hayward, Calif.
 Walking has many positive effects on your body. It strengthens the heart, lungs and muscles, and improves flexibility and physical endurance. In addition, regular walking may reduce joint and muscle stiffness.
 Coupled with a balanced diet, walking is also a sensible way to maintain or lose weight. It burns calories, regulates the digestive system, and even decreases the appetite.
 A regular walking program is more than just physical improvement, it does wonders for your self-image, Dean says. As you get in shape, you'll begin to like the way you look, and it's a great way to work off tension.
 Almost anyone can develop their own walking program. Of course, if you have an existing medical condition like heart disease or diabetes, you should consult your physician before starting any exercise program.
 To start a walking program, find a comfortable pair of walking shoes. Walk slowly for a few minutes to warm up your muscles. Gradually increase the frequency of your walks to at least three times a week for 30 to 40 minutes. Walk at a pace that makes you breathe faster, but still allows you to carry on a conversation.
 During the last five minutes of your walk, cool down by slowing your pace to give your heart rate a chance to return to normal. To avoid muscle injuries, do some easy stretching exercises. Stretch your legs, particularly your calf muscles, after your walk.
 Finally, make your walk fun. Invite friends or family to join you. Change your walking route occasionally, and check with local parks and recreation departments about walking tours.
 -0- 9/29/92
 /CONTACT: Kirsten Cherry of Kaiser Permanente, 510-987-2703/ CO: Kaiser Permanente ST: California IN: HEA SU:


SM -- NYFFNS3 -- 4170 09/29/92 06:48 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 29, 1992
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