One common question that I am frequently asked is if it’s true that you can lose weight simply by walking. And the answer is always the same Of Course You Can. In fact, everyone should strive to reach that magic number of 10,000 steps each and every day however; any amount of walking can be beneficial.
Realizing the benefits of walking
Physical activity isn’t intended to be complicated. Just by taking a brisk walk on a daily basis can allow you to live a healthy life. Increasing the distance, speed and frequency that you walk will result in greater benefits. Here are a few examples of how a brisk daily walk can benefit you:
- Helps you to keep a healthy weight
- Can reduce or prevent various health conditions such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure or heart disease
- Helps to keep your bones strong
- Improves your mood
- Can help improve balance & coordination
As you begin to turn a normal walk into a quicker fitness pace you need to focus on your posture and movements. Concentrate on the following as you begin to increase your walking pace:
- Be sure to keep your head up and look forward, don’t look at the ground.
- Keep your back, shoulders and neck relaxed not stiff.
- Slightly bend your elbows and freely swing your arms, you should have a little pumping action in your arms.
- Make sure to keep your back straight (do not arch forward or backward) and slightly tighten your stomach muscles.
- You want to walk smoothly, as you walk roll your foot from your heel to your toe.
When you begin a walking routine consider the following:
- Be sure you have the proper equipment. Select shoes that provide proper arch support and that have a firm heel as well as a thick but flexible sole (you want to absorb the shock and cushion your feet). If you choose to walk outside at night, use reflective tape or wear brightly colored clothing or a safety vest to keep you visible. Some individuals will use a weighted vest, ankle weights, hand weights or some other exercise equipment to burn extra calories and intensify their walking workout, be careful not to over things, start out slow and add weight gradually.
- Carefully select a course. When you walk outdoors there can be all types of hazards, keep an eye out for low-hanging tree branches, broken sidewalks, uneven surfaces and potholes.
- Begin with an easy warm up. For the first 5 -10 minutes walk slowly, you need to let your muscles warm up and prepare the body for exercise.
- Finish with a cool down. After you finish your walk then continue to walk slowly for another 5 -10 minutes to help cool down the muscles.
- Don’t forget to stretch. Gently stretch after you finish your cool down. If you prefer stretching before your walk, then warm up first.
Remember to start of slowly and gradually increase your speed, duration and distance and before long you’ll reach and possibly pass the 10,000 step goal.