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Fitness walker

Walk your way to a better body,
better health

January 20, 1996
Web posted at: 11:45 p.m. EST

From Correspondent Linda Ciampa

BOSTON, Massachusetts (CNN) -- You don't have to run a marathon or pump iron to get a good workout. Some people are going back to basics to keep fit: They are simply walking their way to better bodies and better health.

Margaret Keogh follows a near-fanatical walking regimen. Come snow or rain, she's out there six days a week, walking 6 miles a day.

Walking wasn't always such a passion for Keogh. Just four years ago, she was carrying around 35 extra pounds and having trouble breathing.

"However, three months into walking, I could feel my breathing getting better, " she says. "And in six months, I had no problem and I was beginning to lose weight."

Terry Walsh leads Keogh's walking group in south Boston. Once a marathon runner, Walsh turned to walking when she became pregnant with her son.

"I didn't think it was going to keep me in such good shape," Walsh said, "but to my surprise ... I developed more muscle definition in the legs and seemed to be lighter on the scale."

Mark Fenton of Walking magazine says a fast walker can actually burn more calories than a slow jogger. "You have to compare the intensity of the effort, " he says. "It totally depends on how hard you work. If I were to jog along at (a slow) rate, I'm not doing any better than a walker who's walking briskly."

Walking

Still, walking alone is only half the answer to melt away those calories; the other half is diet.

Keogh eats plenty of fruits and vegetables and doesn't add dollops of butter in her food anymore. That kind of diet and her commitment to walking has helped her keep those 35 pounds off for four years now.

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