Walking is an enjoyable way to sneak in some much-needed time to relax. You can switch off your mind and improve your fitness at the same time. Walking is considered one of the best forms of exercise because; A. it’s free, and B. it doesn’t involve any special training or equipment. Walking is a weight-bearing exercise, meaning you carry your own body weight. Therefore, if you can walk at a steady pace every second day, it doesn’t take long to start reaping the benefits. These include;
- Improved heart and lung fitness.
- Better balance.
- Increased muscular endurance and bone strength.
- Decreased excess body fat.
- Reduced risk of cancer, stroke, diabetes and disease.
- Improved management of high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
- Reduced muscular or joint stiffness and pain.
In addition to these amazing benefits, walking gets you out in the fresh air. Surprisingly, breathing in the fresh outdoor air has its own set of advantages;
- Increased flow of oxygen, aiding digestion.
- Improved heart rate and blood pressure.
- Increased energy levels and serotonin (happy chemicals).
- Supports a healthy immune system.
- Cleanses the lungs and sharpens the mind.
To ensure you’re getting the most out of your walk, be mindful to walk with correct technique. First, secure a comfortable walking pace. This pace should allow you to hold a conversation, but not take your breath away. Although, it might take your breath away when you soon recognise how good you feel! Next, let’s focus on your feet. As you glide through each stride, roll from heel to toe. Try not to land with a bounce or on a flat foot. It’s important to maintain a neutral pelvis. Keep your stomach muscles tight, without overarching your back or tucking your tailbone under. Let your arms swing freely from your shoulders (not your elbows). However, your arms shouldn’t fly higher than your chest or swing across your body. Uphold a stable posture. To do this, roll your shoulders up, back, then down. Extend your spine as if a string was pulling you up towards the sky. Lastly, keep your eyes up. Gaze about 10-20 feet in front of you. Stand proud and stand tall. Don’t let that crown fall!
Walking can be also be fun. Walk with a friend to keep yourself motivated and social.