Magazine article USA TODAY

Battle of the Bulge Has Its Own Legs

Magazine article USA TODAY

Battle of the Bulge Has Its Own Legs

Article excerpt

A brisk walk may be the answer to winning the battle of the holiday bulge, advises Cathryn R. Dooly, physical education professor and director of the Adult Physical Fitness Laboratory and Center, Ball State University, Muncie, Ind. Typically, individuals worry about gaining a few pounds during the next several weeks because of the traditions of parties, family gatherings, and carry-in dinners.

"The holidays are a very busy time for people [and] many of the activities we attend are centered around food," remarks Dooly. "However, a good walk will increase the body's metabolism, allowing us to burn off those calories. We can take a walk the first thing in the morning, late at night, or during a break at work. Besides, it can be very relaxing during this hectic season."

There are several types of walking styles, including:

Strolling. At one or two miles per hour, this is enjoyable, but too slow for aerobic or cardiovascular conditioning of the heart and lungs. It is, however, valuable as an activity to prepare the body for more rigorous exercise and usually burns about 100 calories a mile.

Functional. At two to four mph, this is the most common pace. …

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