In my recent post, we discussed different forms of workouts that can be chosen based on individual preferences an effective option to reach your fitness levels.
Most often whenever I asked my friends, colleagues, relatives who are of different to same age groups about their best and preferred exercise that they do regularly and a majority of them have said “walking ” as their best choice. after a brief thought and understanding yes of course “walking ” is the best workout that has several benefits when compared to several other workouts.
Let’s get to know more about it on Why Walking? The best answer is it is the simplest and most effective form of workout, that does not need any kind of equipment, trainer, which can be performed at any age group, and most importantly it’s performed without any injuries. ( which is an important fact to be considered).
“The secret of getting ahead is getting started. – Mark Twain”
Past and the current situation of walking: let’s talk about our great grandfathers who are 100 yrs to 50 yrs back who are the fittest and fine even after they were fit and healthy in their old age and the secret behind them is they ” walk more and sit less ” as compared to our/today’s generation who ” sits more and walk less ” And we are far heavier and unhealthier than our ancestors.
Do’s and Dont’s in walking: According to some health and well-being publishers (WebMd), a few simple steps could help us maximize the benefit we reap from our walking exercise. Let’s take a look at some of them:
Shoes: Before we plan for any form of a workout it’s always recommended to have the right pair of shoes as improper shoes will lead to injuries. Walking like running could be hard on your feet. So make sure to wear comfortable shoes. They should be light and well fitted, breathable, and cushioned. A good pair of shoes should be flexible while giving support to your feet. However, remember to replace your shoes every six months at the very least. Recommended brands: Skechers, Puma, Nike, etc
Have a specific target: to make the workout session more live and exciting always set achievable targets initially and rewrite them as you progress as in go for at least four to six walks per week. Beginners would be advised to start walking twenty minutes per day. As you advance, aim to walk for an hour every day.
“Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm. – Ralph Waldo Emerson”
Swinging’s Good: Keep your arms loose so that they can swing away as they’d want. The movement of your arms will aid in your walking and also help to keep your body loose and relaxed. Tighten Up: Squeeze your hips as you walk. Make sure your legs, from the hips down are engaged in walking. This can go a long way in avoiding injury.
Warm-Up: For the first five minutes, walk slowly at a strolling pace. And then pick up the pace gradually. Cooldown and Stretch: Before you come to a complete stop, remember to walk slowly for about ten minutes to allow your heart and body to cool down. After you finish do some basic stretching exercises.
“Exercise to stimulate, not to annihilate. The world wasn’t formed in a day, and neither were we. Set small goals and build upon them. – Lee Haney”
Types of walking :
Before deciding on your walking workout think for a while about your current level of fitness and about what you want to achieve. Every one of us walks differently and can get different results from our walking lifestyle. However, there are some popular types of walking that you can try.
Beginners Walk or Brisk Walk this is the simplest form of walking. You walk as you would normally walk but a little bit faster. How fast? Well, the consensus is – about 5 km per hour. However, do not let the kilometer per hour number scare you. Set your own pace. But do remember to push yourself a bit.
Power walking more and more people are opting for Power Walking as an option to jogging. It is believed that it burns as many calories as jogging while doing less damage to feet and knees. To make sure that you get the most out of your Power Walking routine, try walking on beach sand or try uphill and downhill that will add more power and endurance, or try to mix it up with some other exercise in between like push-ups or stretches. That level of fitness higher Ps note: The pace should be about seven to nine km per hour and while walking downhill, slow down the pace and take smaller steps. This will reduce the risk of injury.
Race walking is a long-distance footrace in which the athletes must walk and not run. In race walking, there is a rule known as the “straight leg rule,” which means the moment the leading foot touches the ground and until the leg passes under the center of the body, the knee is not allowed to bend.
The men’s world record for the 50-mile race walk is held by Israeli Shaul Ladany, whose time of 7:23:50 in 1972 beat the world record that had stood since 1935
Pedometers are also called activity trackers. They help you in keeping track of the level of walking exercise you are doing. They allow you to set realistic goals and achieve them.
Many modern activity trackers can also track other things – like the quantity and quality of your sleep, some can even count calories.
Can walking lifestyle be cardio exercise? Absolutely. According to livestrong.com, walking can give a complete workout to the lungs, the heart, and of course, the major arteries and veins However to get the best Cardio results out of your walking, walk at a pace that challenges your fitness by a little bit. So casual strolls are out, brisk and power walking are in and this is called as Cardio Walking
Advantages of walking :
The simplest way to be healthier and fitter is by walking. More and more people are nowadays adopting this form of exercise into their daily lifestyles. The biggest advantage of the walking lifestyle is – anyone can do it. You do not need to be young and healthy, fit, and training. most of us can start walking almost immediately and choose our level of comfort with walking.
Having said that this one form of workout will work on the overall body by doing this daily will help in full body workout Even if you are walking long or short, fast or slow you need to treat this as exercise only then you will reap the benefits.
- It is estimated that for every hour you exercise walking, your life increases by about two hours. However, that is not the only reason why you should be walking.
- Walking is also one of the most pleasant exercises known to man. Make sure you enjoy every one of the walks you take.
- Make an effort to notice things on the way – children playing in the park, the trees, the birds, the flowers. Smile often.
So next time whenever you plan to start your workout for the first time always think about walking as your stepping stone later you can pace it out or choose an alternative based on your physical health.
Do share your comment and suggestion and keep watch this space for more interesting workouts and nutrition for 40+ youngsters .. remember age is just a NUMBER.