Health + Wellness

8 Tips to Improve your Walking Technique

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Fitness walking is more than just striding your foot and swaying your arms the right way

Everyone knows that walking is the easiest, safest and cheapest form of exercise that keeps your body fit and healthy. It is effective in combating diseases such as stroke, high blood, diabetes and more.

According to research, you can reduce the risk of coronary artery disease by walking for an hour every week. Of course, do go for longer walks if you think you are ready for a challenge.

Walking is a pretty easy habit to cultivate as you can walk indoors or just out the door to work out. Whether it’s raining or not, you can still get your heart rate up  by walking for at least 20 minutes or so – on the spot or on a treadmill.

Did you know that brisk walking at a moderate pace can burn up to 200 calories? If you don’t feel ready for it, you can start off with regular slow walking.

Here are some tips to help you out:

Count your steps.

Based on studies, aim to walk 3,000 steps a day minimally. Measure your steps using a pedometer when walking. If you think you are able to go for a longer distance, try aiming for 5,000 steps. You can always increase your steps once your body’s comfortable with the routine.

Listen to your body.

Once your body is used to walking regularly, you may feel that it’s not as challenging as expected. To avoid getting used to the workout, try increasing your speed by taking faster steps than the usual. This will keep your body hyped and a great way to burn more calories.

Vary your routine.

Opt to go for a walk that lasts 20-30 minutes a day, 7 times a week. You may also choose to go for an hour but only four to five times a week. If your schedule is really packed, you can always go for short walks three times a day.

Be active.

Walk up the stairs instead of escalators and elevators as part of your daily workout when you are on the way to your office or when shopping. If possible, run errands on foot instead of driving. It’s always nice to walk to your favorite grocery store or to a friend’s place and squeeze in some exercises on the way.

Walk on different terrains.

Always go the extra mile by walking on varied terrains such as the grass, uphill, gravel or on track. You can always go hiking, a leisure activity that involves walking on steep terrains. It helps to push your body even more, allowing you to work out more effectively.

Don’t forget to lean forward when walking uphill and bend your knees a little when walking downhill to avoid injuries.

Swing your arms.

Always bear in mind that you need to keep your balance by swinging your arms when walking. Swing them naturally and in opposition to your walking. If you step forward with your right leg, the left arm gets to swing forward.

Insert aerobic exercises while walking.

Since walking can get boring at times, feel free to incorporate several exercises in between. You can use hand weights while walking, do some jumping jacks or even squats during your workout.

Don’t forget to use the right shoes.

You would not want to hurt yourself, even if you are just going to walk for a short while. Make sure your shoes are suitable for walking to avoid injuries.

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