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Here’s how to walk your way to fitness

Here’s how to walk your way to fitness

Did you know that the most common form of exercise is walking? Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of a dynamic and creative intellectual activity. The faster, farther and more frequently you walk, the greater the benefits.

Interested in walking to greater fitness levels? Read on

 Benefits of walking:

  • increased cardiovascular and pulmonary (heart and lung) fitness.
  • reduced risk of heart disease and stroke.
  • improved management of conditions such as hypertension (high blood pressure), high cholesterol, joint and muscular pain or stiffness, and diabetes.
  • stronger bones and improved balance.

Here’s what you need to do:

  • Know the benefits
  • Consider your technique (start by getting the right gear)

– A Comfortable pair of Walking Shoes with a flexible sole and plenty of toe room

– A pair of socks made of cool max or other wicking fabrics that draw moisture away from the body

– Comfortable pants or joggers and A Cotton T-shirt

– Fanny Pack either to be worn like a waist belt or back pack

– A water bottle

– Small mp3 player

– Heart Rate Monitor: Can be worn as an accessory, like a watch or across the chest.

  • Set realistic goals (note down things you intend to carry out during the walk exercise over a stipulated period of time)
  • Plan your routine (the time span you would be walking for, the terrain, the distance)
  • Track your progress (this is achieved after or before every session, measure what you planned to do against what was actually achieved during the walk exercise), and
  • Stay motivated.

How to walk right:

  • YOUR ARMS SHOULD BE AT A RIGHT ANGLE: Arm at 90° (right angle)Your shoulders should be relaxed and positioned neither too high, nor too low. The fists should be closed, but not tightly.
  • YOUR ARMS SHOULD MOVE FROM FRONT TO BACK: During this movement, your arms should naturally glide past the centre of your body. The wrist should not move lower than your waist, nor should it go lower than your hips. Your hand should never go higher than your sternum, otherwise you may slow the rhythm of your session of active walking.
  • Stand upright as you walk. Although everyone has their own unique, individual gait, certain common behaviors can improve almost everyone’s walking experience. Chief among these is your posture. As you walk, keep your head upright, back straight, and chin up.
  • Resist the urge to hunch or slouch as you walk. Over time, bad posture can lead to back pain, a stiff neck, and even more serious maladies.
  • Use your calves, hamstrings, and quadriceps to walk efficiently. As you walk, visualize pushing off with your back foot using your hamstrings and quadriceps and propelling yourself forward onto the heel of your other foot. Roll your foot forward, heel-to-toe, as you make your step. This brings your calf muscles into play – use them to keep your feet at the correct (elevated) angle for each step.
  • Keep your shoulders pulled back, but relaxed.
  • Finally, pulling your shoulders back makes you look good by projecting confidence and strength.
  • Swing your arms as you walk. As you walk, let your arms hang naturally at your side. Your arms should begin to swing in small arcs as you start to walk – the quicker you walk, the larger the arcs.

Remember

1) Get the right gear 2) Choose your course carefully 3) Warm up 4) Cool down 5) Stretch.

Call Healthboxes on 09091111129 or 08097560000 to Speak to a Fitness Advicer.

References

www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/walking/art-20046261

www.cardiosmart.org/~/media/Documents/Fact%20Sheets/en/abk5242.ashx

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/exercise/art-20048389

https://www.wikihow.com/Walk-Properly

https://www.newfeel.co.uk/advice/moving-arms-essential-part-active-walking-a_12971

http://www.thewalkingsite.com/gear.html

 

 

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