Walking is a basic movement we use every day, but it requires discipline to walk enough to gain health benefits. It’s recommended that individuals take at least 10,000 steps each day for exercise, which can be easily measured by a pedometer
Walking is the perfect exercise for many people and the simplest way to work out.
- Walking strengthens your heart
Reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke by walking regularly. It’s great cardio exercise, lowering levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol while increasing levels of HDL (good) cholesterol. The Stroke Association says that a brisk 30-minute walk every day helps to prevent and control the high blood pressure that causes strokes, reducing the risk by up to 27 percent.
- Walking lowers disease risk
A regular walking habit reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes by around 60 percent, and reduces risk of developing cancer of the colon, breast or womb with an active hobby such as walking.
- Walking helps you lose weight
You’ll burn around 75 calories simply by walking at 2mph for 30 minutes. Up your speed to 3mph and it’s 99 calories, while 4mph is 150 calories. Work that short walk into your daily routine and you’ll shed the pounds in no time.
- Walking prevents dementia
Older people who walk six miles or more per week are more likely to avoid brain shrinkage and preserve memory as the years pass.
- Walking tones up legs, Get in Shape
Regular walking tones your calves, quads and hamstrings, helping you to get in shape. Pay attention to your posture and to also tone your abs and waist.
- Walking boosts vitamin D
Walking is the perfect way to enjoy the outdoors while getting your vitamin D fix.
- Walking gives you energy
A brisk walk is one of the best natural energisers around. It boosts circulation and increases oxygen supply to every cell in your body, helping you to feel more alert and alive. Try walking on your lunch break to achieve more in the afternoon.
- Walking makes you happy
Exercise boosts your mood. Studies show that a brisk walk is just as effective as antidepressants in mild to moderate cases of depression, releasing feel-good endorphins while reducing stress and anxiety. So for positive mental health, walking’s an absolute must.
Tips for Walking Exercise
Wear comfortable, well-fitting shoes. They should be lightweight and breathable. Look for thick cushioning in the heel, good support, and flexibility. Replace them after 3 to 6 months.
Start with a warm-up. Strart at a comfortable pace for 5 to 10 minutes. Then pick it up for the rest of your walk.
Set goals . Aim for four to six walks every week. If you’re a beginner, shoot for 20 to 30 minutes. If you’re more advanced, take it up to 45- or 60-minute sessions
Stand tall. Pay attention to your posture. Keep your head up, stomach in, and shoulders relaxed. Lift your chest and engage your abs.
Stride naturally. Point your toes and knees forward. Straighten your front leg but don’t lock your knee. Try to land on your heel instead of the middle or front of your foot, then roll your weight forward. Use a natural step length and avoid over-striding.
Squeeze and tighten. Squeeze your glutes and engage your core to strengthen your muscles and cut your risk of injury. “Try not to just walk forward from the thighs or hip flexors.
Swing your arms. Keep your shoulders relaxed so your arms swing freely, and so your back and neck don’t tense up. Keep your arms bent. Swinging them will propel you forward and help you move faster. Don’t use hand weights. They put stress on your elbows and shoulders.
Try intervals. They’re great for endurance and weight loss. Speed up for a minute or 2 every 5 minutes
Cool down. Walk at a slower pace for 5 to 10 minutes. Then stretch your hamstrings, calves, chest, shoulders, and back.