Fall in Love with Walking
Benefits of Walking
Walking for Health, the easy way to fall in Love with Exercise.
Walking is one of the best ways to keep you healthy.
- It lowers your blood sugar levels which decreases your risk of diabetes.
- Blood pressure will also take a dip.
- You will find your waistline again.
- Strengthens your bones, and
- Raises your spirits.
I’ll show you how to get into a stay healthy routine, and if you start out correctly it could start a love affair with simplest fitness method on earth.
You will not have the same level of fatigue that a more vigorous exercise such as running or weightlifting generates.
If you are sedentary and have been so for some time, you need to start off slowly aiming for shorter distances, which will allow walking to embed itself as a habit, making it part of your routine for life.
A slow start, bringing with it its wellbeing benefits, is undeniably better than a quick start and fast burn out.
Top 10 Benefits of a Morning Walk
How to Fit Walking into your Schedule
Find a suitable place to walk, flat terrain, smooth surfaces and minimal traffic. As a newbie, walk for around 30 minutes per day, three times a week. Easy, but try to do it when it's light to get the added benefit of sunlight and vitamin D. This exercise does not have to be done first thing – it works at anytime!
Yes, you can Squeeze it In
- A 30 minute walk with your dog early morning or late evening?
- Two 15 minute loops around your local park or School
- A 30 minute walk on the treadmill at the gym or at home, set on a slow speed.
- A 15 minute walk around the block both the morning and evening.
- Lunch time walks during the office break for either 15 minutes or 30 minutes.
Music while you Walk - Wellbeing Playlist.
If you are easily bored from low key activities, make a playlist that either gives your mind room to wander or reflect on your life, your next holiday, buy audio books or, make a motivational playlist with a beat.
Listening to music while you exercise can increase endurance by up to 15%, as it distracts the part of your brain that focuses on fatigue.
Music stimulates the endorphins, the chemicals that boost your mood naturally and bring on a feeling of wellbeing.
Now you can slip into your exercise regime and remember just 15 to 20 minutes of daylight on your skin can up your Vitamin D intake. This assists in lowering blood pressure, strengthening the immune system and boost serotonin to lift moods and help chase away the blues.
Don’t expect to see fast results as walking is about making healthier lifestyle choices and a change that should be maintained indefinitely. It is not a quick get fit or lose weight fast scheme.
Simple Yoga Walking
Meditative or Yoga Walking
Save the power walking until you are ready to change. Meditative or Yoga walking will enhance walking enjoyment from day one.
As you walk, really feel the ground under your feet and how every muscle moves you forward.
Meet every sensation and savour it. Feel the weather, hear the sounds, take in the scenery, be aware of the smells, take notice of each one and give it your full attention. Notice the flowers, birds, butterflies, plants, the pattern of the clouds, an interesting leaf, see the different textures. If stressful thoughts intrude push them aside.
Fully focus for 25 minutes of your walk. Let all thoughts come and go as they please and see how relaxed you feel.
Find a mantra. It can be anything that’s positive such as ” I love life, I feel relaxed, empowered and happy” Repeat it as your walk.
A well tuned into your surroundings walk will calm and de-stress you. If the anxiety returns, remember how you felt at the end of your walk. Try it for a few days to get you into the walking vibe or alternate with more dynamic walks when you need a dose of TLC.
Know how to Walk
Sort out your walking style to get the most out of your walk and ache less.
Keep your posture upright, neck and shoulders relaxed
Bend your arms at the elbow, with hands lightly clenched.
Pull in your abdominals and tuck in your behind by pulling the pelvic floor up, but keep a natural arch in the back. It helps trim your tummy and prevent back pain.
Look straight ahead and not at the floor in front.
Swing your bent arms slightly
Put your heel on the ground first, then roll through to your toe and push off.
Don't pump or puff or walking will become a chore and a bore.
Pick an Easy first Walk
Ensure that no matter how far you are from the starting point, you are able to get back. Perhaps walk in a circle, an oval track, or a 20 - 30 minute figure of eight around your home. That way you are never too far away.
Pay attention only to the time you walk not the distance, faster and farther walks come with experience.
Set yourself a 20 minute walk - walk 10 minutes and then turn around and come back. Try, on your way back, to shave a minute of your time thereby giving yourself a little push.
When you have worked yourself into a general routine, vary your walk by increasing your pace for two minutes and then slow back to your normal pace for two minutes. Every third day (or every week), add another pace increasing interval, walk fast for four minutes then rest for two. As the pace intervals become more vigorous, increase the rest interval.
Ensure that you're well hydrated an hour before walking as you don't want to become dehydrated. It may be convenient to take a bottle of water with you so you can stay hydrated throughout your walk.
Common Walking Mistakes - Walk for a full Workout
Don't Rush to buy Trainers
If your trainers cradle your heel, lace to a snug fit and have a box toe with room, about 1 cm, to wiggle your toes, are flexible and breathable - they will do.
Enlist a Friend
It's sociable, and talking is a terrific way to work out your speed.
If you can chat easily, you're strolling, relaxed, and it's a delightful way to get into walking.
If the conversation is tricky and you're puffed - then you're walking at a medium pace with a mild workout, balanced between healthy and happy.
Only managing a few words? Then you're giving yourself a workout. If you want to build stamina, get fit and lose weight you'll need to keep up this pace.
Ambition - Walking for Fitness
If your style feels right, your spirits lifted, perhaps you can ramp up your walking.
- Walk more often - four or five times a week
- A Hike? A longer walk, an hour or so, with friends and somewhere different over the weekend.
- Once you can comfortably walk 45 minutes, try other areas, where you may encounter hills, stairs or declines which will increase the difficulty of your walk.
- If you're walking for weight loss and aerobic health this will come through sustained effort, not through increased speed or distance.
When none of these suggestions exhaust you, perhaps it's time to gear up and get into fitness walking, join a club or do a couple charity walks with a purpose.
Other ways to Help you be Healthy
- Eating for Your Health
Many serious diseases can be avoided by eating more of the super foods. Especially for you I have listed 33 super foods.
- Mindfulness: Your Inner Source of Happiness
Mindfulness is overcoming problems, using your own innate wisdom and finding happiness in your life.
- Melt Away Stress and Find More Energy
Relax and find more energy with soothing remedies and wonderful stretches.
© 2012 Shelley Watson
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