One of the easiest exercises to get in shape is walking. For one, walking is free. It is simple and doesn’t strain your bones, muscles, or joints. Everyone should purpose to walk well into old age. Not only does it help to increase your longevity but also keeps you happier, stronger, and fitter.
How Much to Walk For Fitness
If you are serious about walking for health, you need to set some mileage. The other thing that matters is your intensity. For good health, the minimum walking time is 30 minutes in moderate intensity. This should be at least 5 days a week. The more you do it the better.
If your main goal is weight loss, dedicate 30-90 minutes of walking per day. The total walking time for a whole week should be at least 150 minutes. Be sure to walk fast enough to hit your heart’s moderate-intensity zone. That is 60% – 70% of the maximum heart rate. Breathe harder but ensure that you can speak well while walking. However, this intensity should not allow you to sing. If you want to measure the heart rate, make use of a heart rate monitor, fitness band, or a mobile app.
Research indicates that people who walk the most have zero risk factors like high blood pressure and cardiovascular diseases. Purpose to accumulate 15,000 steps (at least 5 miles) and above every day. This will help you to reduce your waist, blood sugar level, and cholesterol.
What is the Right Walking Technique?
Forget the normal walk, turn your movements into fitness strides with proper posture. Here is the right way to walk for fitness.
• Face forward and not the ground
• Relax the shoulders and neck
• Straighten the back without arching it forward or backward
• Freely swig the arms ad slightly bend the elbows
• Pump a little with the arms
• Tighten the midsection
• Roll the feet from heels to toes, walking smoothly
How to Get the Most Out of Walking
Increasing the number of steps in a day is good. But make sure you are increasing the pace. Don’t forget to take breaks throughout the day. Take brisk walking bouts of at least 10 minutes. Alternatively, you can do high interval training instead of walking for 30 minutes at the same intensity. Alternate 1-minute bursts of high intensity walking with 1-minute bursts of low intensity or recovery. Lastly, take your walking uphill. A steep hill allows you to increase the pace, giving you an equal advantage in less time. Meanwhile, here is what you ought to know:
I. Keep in mind the aforementioned posture, feet, and arm movement. Make sure you have comfortable and flexible walking footwear.
II. Weather should not be a hindrance. Neither should outdoor hazards prevent you from walking. This is where a treadmill comes in.
III. Consider having some walking friends to make it more enjoyable. Walking with a dog is another great way to break from longer strolls.
IV. Stay motivated and stick to your commitment. You can begin with a smaller goal like a 5-minute walk during lunch break. You need to set specific times for walking if you want to be successful.
Walking Vs Running
Did you know that walking is a sufficient full-body workout? It is as good as running. With running, many people plateau after doing it repeatedly. Running at the same time with the same speed and distance can be boring. It is imperative to change the routine if you want the optimal benefits. The reason most people think running is better exercise is that it is physically demanding. Nonetheless, we cannot compare running and walking against each other. Running engages the larger muscles with a greater force and faster movement. But this is not good for people with physical challenges.
Nonetheless, walking helps you to attain your health goals and it’s the recommended exercise over running for people with back, knee, and ankle issues. It is also for overweight people. Since it is a lower-impact workout, you can enjoy it for longer periods.
Walking as a Mental Boost
Adding walking to your routine offers a mental boost which is almost immediate. When you take a walk, you increase your creative output by around 60%. You start divergent thinking that helps to explore possible solutions. It is a way of allowing ideas to flow freely. You need such a robust regimen to incorporate into your physical activity. As far as relieving anxiety is concerned, a 10-minute walk may be as good as working out for 45 minutes. The act of walking allows your mind to wander hence stimulate a state of inventiveness and wow moments.
A mental lift only benefits your creative side. Moreover, waking has been proven to boost mood. If you want to reach a jovial state, take a 15-minute walk. You even start being more attentive, confident and feeling strong. Naturally, a simple walk keeps you from contemplating negative experiences. Negative emotions are some of the risk factors of stress and depression.
Other Benefits of Walking
Whether you take a walk in the park, stroll around the neighborhood, or walk your dog, you keep your body active to reap the following benefits:
• Fat burning and weight loss: To lose weight, your body needs to burn the stored fats. You can shed excess body fat by taking at least 45 minutes of brisk walking.
• Reduced cholesterol and blood pressure: Regular walks are associated with low risks of high blood pressure and bad cholesterol.
• Lowering glucose level in the blood: High blood sugar causes diabetes. You can reduce the risk of diabetes type 2 by walking every day.
• Low BMI: It has been known worldwide that people who walk for longer periods have lower body mass index. BMI is a significant indicator of obesity. Take more steps each day to keep your BMI in a healthy range
• Increased longevity: Reduce the risk of premature death through walking as a regular exercise.
Being an aerobic activity, walking stimulates the lungs and the heart. As such, your body is in a position to use oxygen optimally. This helps to reduce the possibility of blood clotting inside the capillaries- which causes fatal incidences like heart attack and stroke. In essence, walking reduces the load that the heart is subjected to. This means all body organs are replenished with the blood adequately. That is why you should consider walking as a significant investment in your life.