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Americans, on the whole, are fatter than just about any other group of people in the world.  They also have some of the highest rates of Type-II Diabetes and heart problems in the world.  Why are we so fat?  Weight gain is usually a combination of two things: an unhealthy diet and a lack of exercise.  Most people, when they decide to try and lose weight, only tackle part of the problem.  They try dieting or taking pills or living off of lemon juice and cayenne pepper for awhile, but usually it doesn抰 work.  Though a healthy diet is important to losing weight, it抯 still only part of the equation.  If you cut down your calories but still sit on a couch or in an office every day, you抮e not going to lose much weight.  Interestingly enough, though many people are happy to try dieting, there aren抰 many who only work at the other side of the equation: exercising.
So why don抰 people exercise?  Part of it is attached to our mentality about exercising.  揈xercising?brings up images of sweaty, unhappy people lifting weights in a smelly gym, and it sounds like a lot of work.  However, exercising doesn抰 mean you抮e going to have to pump iron for a few hours every day.  In fact, lots of things are considered exercising, from playing a pick-up game of basketball to gardening to just taking a walk around the block.  Most studies have found that a half hour of exercise every day is enough to keep you healthy, and that half hour doesn抰 even have to be all at once.  You can skip rope for ten minutes in the morning, take a walk for ten minutes after lunch, and take a walk around the block for ten minutes when you get home and night and take care of all of your exercise for the day. 
揃ut wait a minute,?you say, 揌ow can walking be good for you?  I walk every day!? The average American walks for only about 1/3 of a mile every day.  However, fitness walking is a great way to lose weight, especially because it抯 so available.  If you want to go swimming you have to go to a pool, change clothes, swim, change again, and go home or to work, but if you抮e taking part in fitness walking all you have to do is walk out the door of your office.  Fitness walking is also an attractive exercise choice because it抯 low-impact and virtually injury-free, and serves as a nice warm up for running or jogging. 
Fitness walking is also easy to incorporate into any schedule, since if you walk fifteen minutes to work every morning and fifteen minutes back every evening you抳e already taken care of your exercise for the day, which will help you lose weight and stay healthy.

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