Walk Your Way To Fitness Not Just Weight Loss
IMPROVE YOUR WALKING STYLE
Some basic rules to follow which in due course becomes a habit.
- Hold your head high.
- Your chin must be in level with the ground.
- Your eyes must focus on 15-20 feet ahead.
- Shoulders must move naturally.
- It pays to gently tighten stomach muscles.
- Hands must be swinging naturally as you walk briskly.
- Pelvis must be tucked under your torso.
- Feet should be positioned a shoulder apart.
- Walk smoothly and briskly for overall good health.
Use Of Pedometers
Pedometers or step counters serve as a motivational tool for walking. They can be strapped to your clothing at the waist. Basic models that cost about 20$ are found online and show you how many steps you have taken. Some people like to keep it strapped on the whole day to see how much they have walked.
If you wish to shop for a pedometer that has a large display showing you the calories burnt, the distance walked, and the time taken, there are several to choose from. A more advanced model will give you the ability to upload your walking data or other measurements for you to adhere to, as you walk. Investing in a good pedometer ensures that you stick to your walking regimen and offers you a customized data of your daily measurements in terms of steps taken which can serve as a baseline for you. Using this you can set yourself some short term goals such as increasing the number of steps every week and more long term goals such as increasing the steps to a couple of thousand or more. This again depends on your fitness levels and serves to increase your fitness level as the overall benefit.
PEDOMETERS or STEP COUNTERS(motivational tools for walking)
Walk Your Way To Fitness
Weight Loss and dieting are the top new year resolutions every year according to surveys around the world. The holidays & Christmas feasting begins to show on one's abs & the quest to find a quick & easy way to shed the extra kilos begins. The gyms are packed and weight loss diets are part of the regimen for most.
What Is Weight Loss?
Essentially, consuming fewer calories and burning those already stored is necessary for weight loss. When muscles are exercised, they burn up calories and continue to do so even after you have stopped your exercising activity, which is known as increased metabolism. Burning more calories than you consume is necessary for weight loss.Therefore engaging in any form of physical activity every day is essential to one's overall health, not just weight loss. Of course, weight loss also cuts your risk of a heart attack, hypertension, stroke, diabetes. Obesity is the no.1 killer as it is the root cause for all the above diseases. Maintaining the correct weight after weight loss through exercise and cutting calories contributes to weight maintainance.
Women, men & children particularly adolescents are often heard to give dieting as a reason for not eating, be it breakfast, lunch, dinner,snack. Several diets attract them such as South Beach Diet, Low Carb Diet, High Protein Diet, etc., but most end up giving up after a few weeks and go back to gorging on all the wrong kinds of food and piling up calories on the double. Top 5 Junk Food To Avoid gives one an idea on this.
What Then Is Fitness?
The human body is designed to perform tasks-mental, physical while being spiritually connected to the Creator. Food, air,water & exercise are the essentials in keeping it working for maximum efficiency. All these are to be taken in the right amounts,never less and definitely not more. Both are detrimental to one's overall health. Consuming right proportions of nutritious food, keeping oneself hydrated, breathing correctly, engaging in activities to exercise the body, mind & spirit on a daily basis contributes to one's overall fitness levels.
Walking is beneficial provided you do it right. Fitting a 20-30 minute walk as part of your daily routine is the best NEW YEAR resolution one can gift oneself.
The following benefits are seen:
- Your posture improves. All the muscles in the body get exercised when you choose walking for your daily exercise.
- Burns up calories,your metabolism increases,making your muscles work harder.
- Heart rate is increased making you take in more air as you breathe.
- If you take a walk in the park or around your block, you tend to make friends with other walkers.
- Taking your pet for a walk doubles the pleasure & other pet owners strike up a conversation.
- The endorphins in your brain are released making you feel good.
- Spiritually you become more receptive as well.
- On the whole, your body, mind & spirit see a change for the better. Remember,Health Is Wealth!
- Positive outlook is reinforced.
Why choose walking?
- Walk anywhere-in the park, within your office,your home ,on your terrace, in your garden,around your block,in the parking lot.
- Walk alone,with your dog or a friend- Man is a social animal. Engaging in conversation while walking takes your mind off how far you can walk,thereby increasing distances every week ,refreshing your mind. You can even form a walkers club.
- Watch the birds and flowers of each season, not to forget the bees and any new activity coming up. The sights and sounds of nature is most relaxing, particularly at the crack of dawn.
- Some like to listen to motivational speakers or inspirational music on their ipod or headset while on their walk. But the best would be to let the crisp morning air invigorate you while you take in the sights & sounds of mother nature. Believe me it is most relaxing and prepares you for the day ahead. It also pays to leave your mobile phones at home. No distractions!
- You do not need specific equipment or gear to begin walking. All you need are comfortable clothes and walking shoes. A pedometer will help you check and maintain optimum levels of walking to increase fitness levels.
- Whatever be your age, you can walk. Whether you are pregnant, a senior citizen, just recovering from an illness or surgery, or whether you have to accompany someone like that it does wonders for you too.Parents can take little children out for a walk to the park and babies can be pushed in a pram. In short, no excuses to this form of exercise. You can choose your pace according to need.
- Zero investment - I like this one! Except for picking up the perfect shoes, you do not need any bucks to workout!
- If you travel often, you can walk anytime, anywhere. You do not need to head to the gym everytime or miss your boxing glove or tennis racket.
- Time is a constraint for most people. Believe me, even CEO's are known to walk whenever possible. It would do well for us to emulate some of their practices,such as those that follow.
- Use the stairs not the elevator.
- Park your car a few blocks away and walk to your destination.
- Arrange a walking meeting.
- Walk early in the morning, and stick to the regimen,rain sun or snow.
- Walk back and forth in the office cabin whenever possible.
CALORIES BURNED IN ONE HOUR
If you weigh 160 LBS (73 kgs)
If you weigh 200 lbs (91 kgs)
If you weigh 240 lbs (109 kgs)
WALKING @ 2 MPH
WALKING @ 3.5 MPH
RUNNING @ 8MPH
JOGGING @ 5 MPH
WALKING SHOES MUST BE A COMFORTABLE FIT
How Important Is Your Walking Shoe
All of us are unique, and so are our feet! So when choosing a pair of good walking shoe, make sure it is a good fit and also comfortable to move around in, if you want to avoid getting blisters and calluses which might stop you from continuing your walking regimen. There are several styles and brands of shoes available for walking in the market, and choosing the one with the perfect fit with the right features matters. Walking shoes of some styles have a roll bar or gel pad for added stability and cushioning. Gel pads serve to cushion the feet and reduces the impact as they strike the ground and roll bars stabilize your feet if you tend to roll inward while striking the ground. Most pairs of walking shoe are built for stability and comfort while walking.
It pays to know your foot size and shape while shopping for a good pair of walking shoes. If it is too narrow at the toe end, one is likely to develop bunions and hammertoes.
All walking shoes show signs of wearing out with use. It is important to throw them out and get yourself a new pair though your old pair may feel comfortable as they may not be providing your feet shock absorption and proper support.
Shoes that give you a comfortable fit tend to give you a trouble-free walk every day. And keep you fit and healthy all through the year.
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