Exercise is important to well being. It is especially important for folks with Hepatitis C. Fatigue is the most commonly reported symptom of Hepatitis C. It can be reduced through regular exercise. Even when fatigued, try to incorporate exercise into your daily Hep Helper regimen. A great way to start exercising is by walking. Walking is the easiest and most popular form of exercise.


 People walk for many reasons: for pleasure, to rid themselves of tensions and toxins, to find solitude, or to get from one place to another. Nearly everyone who walks regularly does so in part because it is good exercise.


 Often dismissed in the past as being "too easy" to be taken seriously, walking recently has gained new respect as a means of improving physical fitness. Studies show that walking on a regular schedule can improve the body's ability to consume oxygen during exertion, lower the resting heart rate, reduce blood pressure, help eliminate toxins, and increase the efficiency of the heart and lungs. It also helps burn excess calories.


 Walking burns almost the same amount of calories per mile as does running. Walking one mile in 20 minutes burns just about the same number of calories as jogging an equal distance in 9 minutes. In weight-bearing activities like walking, heavier individuals will burn more calories than lighter persons. For example, studies show that a 110-pound person burns about half as many calories as a 216 pound person walking at the same pace for the same distance.


 Like other forms of exercise, walking has a substantial psychological payoff. Beginning walkers almost invariably report that they feel better and sleep better, and that their mental outlook improves.


 In addition to the qualities it has in common with other exercise activities, walking has unique advantages. Almost everyone can do it. You don't have to take lessons to learn how to walk.


 You can do it almost anywhere. All you have to do to find a place to walk is step outside your door. Almost any sidewalk, street, road, trail, park, field, or shopping mall will do. The variety of settings available is one of the things that makes walking such a practical and pleasurable activity.


 You can do it almost anytime. You don't have to find a partner or get a team together to walk, so you can set your own schedule. Weather doesn't pose the same problems and uncertainties that it does in many sports. Walking is not a seasonal activity, and you can do it in extreme temperatures that would rule out other activities.


 Walking doesn't cost anything. You don't have to pay fees or join a private club to become a walker. The only equipment required is a sturdy, comfortable pair of shoes.


 What makes a walk a workout? It's largely a matter of pace and distance. When you're walking for exercise, don't saunter, stroll, or shuffle. Instead, try to move out at a steady clip that is brisk enough to make your heart beat faster and cause you to breathe more deeply.

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