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Walking for Fitness

Have you ever considered walking for fitness. Remarkably, getting fit by walking is a low impact and easy way to improve your overall fitness, especially if you are a first timer or coming back from injury!

Walking reduces blood pressure, lowers the levels of " bad LDL " cholesterol in your blood tones up your muscles and strengthens your bones. An excellent form of exercise for persons who wish to lose weight, or simple improve their fitness level through low impact and low intensity exercise.

Requiring only simple equipment, and being able to be performed by almost anyone anywhere and at any time, walking should be promoted more for good health.

Brisk walking is an ideal way to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. A recent study found that men who take regular brisk walks have less than half the rate of heart disease and heart attacks than those that do not.

How you can train without realizing it

  • Build a walk into your journey to work, walk to the train / park away from the office.
  • Aim to walk to the shops, or any other short journeys.
  • Enjoy the fresh air and countryside, take the family and dog (your best fitness) friend out for long steady walks.

How to walk (Briskly)

  • A 90 degree bend in your arm makes your arms a shorter pendulum, so they can swing faster as your step speeds up. At normal speed allow your arms to swing freely and rhythmically, remembering that your arm speed controls your leg speed.
  • Quicker, smaller steps will cover more ground, then long strides, which tire your muscles. Resist the temptation to lengthen your stride to go faster.
  • Strike the floor with the heel of your shoe, roll onto the ball of your foot and aim to push off with your toes.
  • Avoid bending over, looking down on the floor, stay tall with your head up, checking for obstacles that are in your path.
  • Control your breathing, take full breaths and exhale completely.
  • When walking uphill, take smaller strides, leaning into the hill.
  • If the hill is really steep, traverse (zig zag) up it to make it easier on your legs.

How long should I walk for?

  • To maintain health with regular physical activity: Walk for 20 - 30+ minutes' duration's most days of the week at a "talking" pace.
  • Weight management: Walk for 30 - 45+ minutes at a comfortable pace for as many days as possible. Aim to keep the pace constant, being able to talk throughout, however finish slightly out of breath.
  • Cardiovascular fitness: Walk 20+ minutes at a fast pace, ideally over slightly hilly terrain, aim for 2-3 sessions per week, increasing both your breathing and heart rate, whilst staying in a comfortable condition.
  • Exercise should never be painful, if you feel any severe pain, see you doctor immediately, telling them your symptoms.

So as well as getting some great tips on walking, why not also look at pages we have like fitness training and exercise workouts.

Check out the following pages on getting started, gettgin motivated and keeping a track on your calories being burned

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