Walking is the most basic form of exercise. Several studies have proven that walking is one of the best things you can do to improve your overall fitness. It enhances your functional years and also improves your muscles and joints.
Walking at any speed helps burn calories, reduces the potential risks of physical inactivity and is very beneficial for your physical and mental welfare. Besides, you get other health advantages like weight loss and overall fitness by brisk walking that puts you in a low-intensity workout zone.
You can also benefit more by using the right arm motion, posture and speed while walking.
A few walking tips to improve your health
Experts recommend brisk walking of 30 minutes a day for at least five or more days per week. However, if you have not walked long distances for a while, you may start slow before gradually increasing your walk distance.
Whether you’ve been walking regularly or you're about to begin your walking routine, these walking strategies can benefit you in many ways. Here are some important tips and pieces of advice on how to get started on a walking routine.
1) Start with a warm-up and brisk pace
Beginners should first start with a quick warm-up session. Before you start walking, make sure to stretch your body and do some warm-up exercises.
That will help your body get flexible, and you’ll become more comfortable and confident. Walking at a brisk pace helps you burn excess calories, thereby promoting quick and easy weight loss. Don't walk immediately after you’ve had a big meal, though.
2) Be particular about your routine
Walking is beneficial for several health conditions, including weight loss, cardiovascular health, etc.
Moreover, it also helps people with arthritis and diabetes. Doctors generally recommend walking 30 minutes a day, but if you feel it’s too much for you, you may try HIIT i.e. high-intensity interval training.
Just alternate between one minute of fast walking followed by a few minutes of slower brisk walking. That will help increase your speed slowly without causing too much discomfiture.
3) Take walking breaks in between
An adult is recommended to complete 10,000 to 15,000 steps per day, but obviously, you can’t accumulate that many steps at one go.
Instead, try taking walking breaks throughout your day. Aim for small walks for five to ten minutes after every few hours and reduce the length of your sedentary periods.
4) Wear comfortable shoes and clothes
While you may go on a walk wearing any footwear, you’ll be more comfortable with flexible walking shoes.
Good quality flexible walking shoes will make it easier for you to walk on almost any road comfortably and safely. When it comes to clothing, make sure you wear something comfortable and sporty. Do not opt for tight jeans and trousers, as that could impact your walking speed.
5) Track your pace with a fitness tracker
A fitness band or pedometer can motivate you to walk more often. Whether you consider wearing a FitBit or prefer a basic pedometer, you’ll probably get motivated to walk if you are regularly tracking your steps. If you reach 10,000 steps in a day, you are achieving your recommended physical activity goals.
6) Walk with your friends
Walking alone or walking your dog is one of the best ways to get in a quick exercise, but walking with your loved ones can be a great social activity and more enjoyable. It can be a great way to connect with others. You may also join a walking club and meet new people while getting fit.
Additionally, make the most out of your walking routine by keeping your posture correct and your feet and arms in motion. Drink plenty of water before and after your walking exercise, and always carry a water bottle with you. Make sure to cool down your body after a walk, and do a few stretching exercises to avoid body pain and sores.
Keep in mind that you don’t really have to do the same walk every day. Rather, make it more interesting and beneficial by varying your intensity and speed, and change your walking routes.
Always start with a ten-minute walk, and gradually increase your time and speed. If you have any health conditions, consult your doctor to find out if there are any precautions you should take.