Did you know that regular 2.5 hours brisk walking each week could extend your life by up to seven years? Checkout the 10 ways to walk your way to better health guide.
It is an accepted fact that exercise is an important part of any successful weight loss plan. Every muscle you have can burn calories, so the more you work them, the more calories you burn. So, don’t just depend on dieting alone. Move that body and do some exercises to achieve that weight and that body you have always dreamed about.
Walking is great exercise to lose weight. Moreover, it does not require any expertise or equipment and you can do it free anytime you feel like it. However, to be able to walk your way to better health, you should do it regularly.Make walking a daily habit or at least 3 to 5 times a week depending on your schedule.
Before you start walking, do some warm up stretching exercises. Stretch only as far as you feel so as not to pull any muscles. Start with a modest goal, like 15 to 20 minutes at a leisurely pace. Gradually extend the duration and the speed. Walk up one or two gentle slopes. Your walk should be comprised of three segments: warm-up, exercise pace and cool-down.
Walk with your chin up and your shoulders held slightly back. The heel of your foot should touch the ground first. Roll your weight forward.
In fact, research shows that the list of health benefits you reap by simply putting one foot in front of the other is constantly growing. I have below the benefits of walk your way to better health.
- Reduces your risk of many cancers, including breast, colon and prostate
- Reduces your risk of coronary heart disease, the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States
- Improves your blood pressure and cholesterol
- Raises your metabolism so that you burn calories and fat faster
- Promotes more restful sleep
- Helps prevent the onset of non-insulin dependent (Type 2) diabetes
- Reduces your risk for osteoporosis
- Helps increase your energy levels, flexibility and posture
- Slows aging by improving your brain function – one of the best benefits of walking!
- Elevates your mood to prevent or reduce depression
10 Ways to Walk Your Way to Better Health And Weight Loss
- Don’t skip the warm up. Walking may not seem rigorous on your body, but even a moderate pace requires some easing into. Make sure to include at least five minutes of warm up, be it a slower walk or other movements, before you begin. Speaking of which…
- Training is key. Because you often don’t break a sweat while walking, people tend to think, “It’s only a few miles. I don’t need to train first!” But you need to help your body build up to any activity, walking included. That’s especially true with long walks, multi-day events or when the terrain involves an incline.
- It’s all in the arms. A good arm swing is key, but make sure you’re pumping forward and back, not side-to-side. Cross-body or lateral arm swings don’t provide as much momentum, so keep those elbows in!
- Wear the right shoes. Just like runners often have their gait diagnosed by specialty athletic shoe stores to determine what type of shoe is best for them, walkers can benefit from that same precision. Getting properly fitted for your footwear can help with ankle support and balance.
- Let your toes in on the fun. Walking utilizes the intrinsic muscles in your feet, and strengthening them can also improve balance and ankle support.
- Bring some weights along. Adding a few additional pounds to your ankles and/or wrists or just holding small dumbbells while you pump your arms helps improve the strength training aspect of walking. But always balance the weight out on both sides, and beware of overdoing it.
- Change it up. The initial effectiveness you experience from your daily workout diminishes over time, causing people to plateau in their fitness goals. Avoid too much repetition by varying either your speed or your distance every few weeks. A 10 percent increase in either should do the trick.
- Don’t slouch those shoulders. Keeping your shoulders back and your head up helps stave off bad posture while walking, which can cause sciatic nerve pain. It also helps maintain a strong core.
- Beware of over-striding. It’s possible to reach too far with your legs while walking, which causes undo strain on your joints and can lead to pulled muscles. Try to find your sweet spot.
- Hit the pool. Aqua walking is a great option for joint pain sufferers and the elderly, who can be less steady on their feet. Buoyancy provides stress relief for achy joints, and the water resistance provides a great overall workout.
Recommended reading: Full Body Workout Guide For Beginners For Women to Lose Weight Fast
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