Walking to Good Health and Fitness
As an avid walker I must say that I believe walking is one of the most underrated exercises there is. When you mention exercise or fitness to some people they instantly think of classes, gyms, running so on and so fore, but never associate walking with exercise. I think people do just take this type of exercise for granted as we do it every day.
There are so many benefits to walking here are just some: –
- Brain activity – just 2hours walking a week can reduce the risk of stroke by 30%.
- Bones – 4 hours a week can help to reduce hip fractures by up to 43%.
- Heart function – Just 30 minutes walking a day can drastically reduce the risk of heart disease.
- Disease – logging just 3000 steps a day can lower you risk of diabetes by 29%.
- Stress relief – 20 minutes a day can help to reduce depression by 36%.
- Weight – an hour’s walk a day can reduce obesity by half and improve your self-esteem.
- Self-esteem – Walking can actually help firm and flatten abs, increase muscle tone in legs and arms.
Unless you know how to make a few minor but wholly effective adjustments to your walking routine, you may miss out on a fantastic opportunity to whittle that excess weight or to tone up those hard to reach areas. Here are some interesting tips to not only get walking into your daily routine, but to also increase intensity and resistance into your walking workouts to get results: –
Tip 1 – Move Your Arms
Not only does swinging your arms at a faster rate help you walk faster, but helps to ignite serious calorie burn. The movement also engages the upper body. The movements required to propel the arm backward and forwards and engaging your the abdominal region. This will in turn require the body to use more energy, to ultimately burn more calories.
Tip 2 – Up Your Incline
By adding in some up hill into your walking routine wil not just have your glutes (bottom muscles) on firing up, but by adding any sort of resistance or gradient to your walk can help calorie burn and increase lean muscle mass. Increasing your lean mass can boost your metabolism and help you burn more calories at rest, resulting in weight loss and muscle tone.
Tip 3 – Punch It Out
Uppercuts and jabs aren’t just for boxers. Incorporating these moves into your walking routine not only increases your heart rate and jump-starts your metabolism, but also engages your core muscles and strengthens your back.
Tip 4 – Draw In Your Waist
This is possibly the most important thing to do when doping any exercise. This will not only help with posture, but also helps to take pressure and weight off your hips and lower back. You can do this by drawing the belly button towards the spine and lifting your rib cage away from the pelvis. You then should have your chest forward and should backs. This help to open up the chest to increase respiration and improve any joints and lower back pain, and also flatten the belly and waist.
Tip 5 – Use Your Knees and Straighten Your Legs
Most people will know that the the abdominal muscles run vertically and down the side of your stomach. By lifting your knees higher as you step forward and straightening the legs to full range of movement to help rotate the hip and abdomen you start to engage more muscles groups. This will all help towards you burning more calories, toning up this muscles having better posture, but also looking confident within your stride and getting you further that you think.
Whether you want to walk alone, with a dog or with a local walking group. The main thing you have to remember about walking if that it is FREE and can be done any time anywhere!