Walking by far is the easiest, safest, and cheapest form of exercises. It’s also one of the most popular ways of staying fit!
There is nothing that can stop you from your regular walk. If it is raining outside you can walk on the treadmill indoors. If you are a brisk walker and walk a mile you burn approx equal number of calories as you do running a mile at a moderate pace, other benefits remaining the same.
A study at Harvard of around 40,000 female health professionals found that walking at any pace for as little as an hour a week, brings down coronary artery disease risk.
Let’s see how we can optimize the health benefits of walking. As we walk day after day week after week, let us make sure how to get the most of out it.
An individual weighing around 150 pounds who walks at 3.5 miles an hour on flat surface burns around 300 calories per hour. 3.5 miles therefore would burn about 1,100 calories a week.
Some studies have recommended and reported that to protect oneself against heart disease, one should successfully be able to burn 1,000 to 2,000 calories a week through any form of exercise.
If you can’t fit that into your schedule, opt for more frequent, shorter walks.
Make an effort walk. Meaning, instead of elevator take staircase to go on the next floor. Or take a walk down to a friend’s house instead of driving. If you can walk to work, or at least walk back home, consider it.
Walk at least one way. Suggest it to a colleague who is staying near by, to walk with you. Also remember that while walking take faster steps instead of longer steps.
Lengthening your stride may strain on your feet and legs. Include interval training while you walk. Meaning, speed up the pace at which you are walking for a minute or two every five minutes. Get into a routine where you are walking one fast mile with two slower miles.
Backward walking is demanding and novel way of walking for most people. Even slow pace (2 mph) provides intense training. And if you’re recovering from a knee injury, backward walking may help.
You need to be careful when going back-wards outdoors. Take care and choose a smooth surface and keep away from traffic, potholes, and fellow exercisers.
A less popular track is preferable over a place where everyone else is walking. If possible, walk with a forward-walking partner who will keep you from bumping into tress, people and traffic.
Don’t try to walk backward more than a quarter mile in the beginning. Anyone with balance problems should not try retro walk.
Choosing the right shoes is the most important thing to keep in mind when you decide to start walking. Walking shoes should have flexible soles and stiff heel counters. For normal surface any comfortable, cushioned, lightweight, low-heeled shoes will help.