The most convenient way to begin exercise without feeling overwhelmed
Walking is a powerful exercise to maintain your overall health. It is a low impact form of exercise that doesn’t require any equipment or space, it can be done at any time of the day anywhere you like. You can walk around at your home or outside at any pace you prefer without being worried. It is a great way to start exercising for seniors or for people who have not exercised in a long time.
Why is walking the easiest form of exercise?
- It is the only form of exercise that does not require any kind of base level fitness.
- Walking is already part of your life so adding a few more steps to your day will help you reap the benefits.
- Just by walking 10,000 steps a day in total (this can be done around the house post meals, going for evening strolls, morning walks,) can improve health conditions and lose weight effectively. Using a wearable will help you keep track of number of steps during the day.
Health Benefits of walking
– Active lifestyle – It is an ideal form of exercise that can help you transition from a sedentary lifestyle to an active lifestyle. Just by walking around at home or even walking at the corridor can recuse you from being sedentary.
– Gateway to moderate level fitness – Walking is an effective way of easing into other forms of exercise. When you begin to walk plenty, start incorporating low-impact exercises that are less vigorous and then advance further into moderate level workouts.
– Ease joint pains – For people prone to joint pains, walking makes a great low-impact workout. Walking increases blood flow and nutritious the cartilage that protects the joints. Low-impact movements decreases joint stiffness and gradually increases range of motion.
– Firms your body – It is a great way to strengthen bones, tone muscles including thighs, calves, and butt. As your walks will become regular and you begin to brisk walk, it will strengthen your legs. 15 minutes of brisk walking will help you firm your body.
– Good for heart – Going for a walk is good for your heart. Walking causes heart muscle to beat faster and increases flow of oxygenated blood in the body. This not only improves circulation but also cardiovascular endurance which helps lower the risk of health conditions such as obesity, diabetes, heart attack and bad cholesterol.
– Vitamin D – A good reason to step out of your house in the morning is to soak up some Vitamin D from the sun. Vitamin D is an essential nutrient to maintain bone healthy and over all wellbeing. Vitamin D helps regulate blood pressure and defends against various diseases.
Are you walking correctly?
– Speed matters – Walking certainly has great health benefits but does it mean that going for strolls regularly will help reap all the health benefits mentioned above? No, when you begin to walk as an exercise the speed and intensity of walking matters. Walking slowly, or going for long, meandering walks are good to reinforce positivity, however, to improve your health it will take more than strolling.
– Brisk walking – Also known as speed walking. When you begin to walk faster than your regular walks it is considered brisk. When you are brisk walking you should be able to talk and not run out of breath – it is a way of testing out your fitness level which is also referred as ‘talk test’. So, start slow and then pace up the speed bit by bit.
– Power walking – Once you have established regular walking pace up to power walking. Power walking is a technique that emphasis more on arm motion and speed walking. This will help you burn more calories that regular walking and increase your blood circulation.
– 15 minutes of walk – Going for at least 10-15 minutes of brisk or power walking (depending upon your speed and stamina), every day will help you gain the health benefits and maintain healthy weight.
– Talk test – You can determine your fitness levels just by talking. If you are in a comfortable pace you will be able to talk as you walk. If you are performing moderate intensity exercise you will be able to speak a few words before having to breathe deeply. Do a talk test to check out your fitness level as it will keep you motivated to exercise daily.
Take a step forward
– For most people starting any task can seem daunting but if you take a step forward and feel the breeze you will find that walking is the easiest and most effective workout to begin with.
– If you are a beginner or are regular for your evening stroll try to pick up the pace and add on to it bit by bit each day. Set yourself a goal and maintain a pocket dairy to record or progress.
– If you use a wearable then every step you take will be accounted for and you may skip keeping the record since the wearable will do it for you. If you don’t have a wearable you can always use your smartphone.
– There are plenty of fitness apps that help you track your route, count steps and show your pace. With the help of these tools, you will stay motivated and healthy.
Walking with not only keep you healthy physically but it will also keep you mentally sound. It will give you a reason to step out everyday and with time you may even become friends with your fellow walkers. Your weight will be maintained and you will feel stronger. It will change the way you look at life, you will begin to feel more confident about traveling around, your joint pain will be at ease, you will feel independent. So, go out for a walk even if it is a stroll, because you can work it upwards from there. It is not important that you walk fast on the first day but it is important that you start somewhere.