Five Amazing Tips for a Better Walk
Many people think walking is for lazy people or those who are just getting into a fitness routine. They couldn’t be more wrong! Whether you walk to get to the store instead of driving or you go for a nice walk after your dinner, this activity provides a ton of benefits, from building your core strength to burning off calories. Read on to find out how to do it right.
Stretching is important before you go for a walk. Check out videos online which show you how to do it right. Look for videos which are either geared towards walkers or runners as the stretches will be similar. You should be stretching out your feet, ankles, legs, knees, hips, back, abdominal muscles and even your shoulders and neck. The more limber and warmed up you are, the better your walk will be.
Be sure to take every step thoughtfully. Don’t limp and place your foot the same distance ahead every time you step down. Be conscious of the heel-toe movement, and the lift of your heel when you pull your back foot forward. Try to keep your shoulders back and your bottom tucked in a bit. Keep your head high and your neck straight, and relax your torso. Allow your arms to sway back and forth in time with your steps.
As you walk, breathe slowly and deeply. Try to take a breath in over a period of four steps, and let it out with the same frequency. As you walk more frequently, try to extend the length of your breaths. Deep breathing provides stress relief, keeps your heart beat regulated and can even help high blood pressure be reduced. Walking will help you build your cardiovascular strength and health, and good breathing is a major part of that.
If you find that walking just isn’t cutting it anymore as far as intensity goes, do some sprints once in a while. Try walking for 10 minutes, and then sprinting for two. Studies show that bursts of high intensity activity end up burning more calories than a continuous workout. Once those sprints end up feeling easy, change your route so that you are running uphill, on sand or dirt, or in other areas which make it more difficult.
Remember that the shoes you wear will be hugely important when it comes to your comfort level. A good pair of shoes can stand between you and an injury as well. Tie up your shoes tightly and be sure to choose a brand known for creating advanced shoes, such as New Balance. If you have any pain in your toes, feet, ankles or calves, see a chiropodist or pedorthist. They can diagnose your condition and provide you with orthotics to help the pain go away.
Once you start walking, you will fall in love with the activity. Not only does it get you from point A to point B, but you are able to enjoy the outdoors while you do so. On crummy days, you can even walk on a treadmill. Lace up your running shoes and start walking!