- Exercise & Fitness
Walking Exercises to Lose Weight and Personal Safety
How to use Walking as a Workout Exercise
Walking is a simple yet rewarding exercise with nearly everybody being able to walk for fitness. One of the benefits of walking is that it is a great way to lose weight. Compared to a gym work-out, it may seem that it is not possible to have a good workout, however this is not so. To walk for fitness requires a slightly different approach then is normally considered. Walking is both easy, less time-consuming, and can dramatically increase your fitness and health. Having been able to walk well from a very early age you are already a professional walker. All you need is to start by following these guidelines for a successful weight loss program.
Why choose walking to lose weight?
As you are aware, walking is good for both the heart and lungs and allows superb cardiovascular stimulation. To walk about 10,000 paces (eight kilometres) may seem like an excessive amount of distance to achieve, but you already cover much of this distance over the usual activities of your normal day. A handy device to check your paces would be a pedometer. This simple device will measure the steps you take throughout the day, and while you walk for a workout you can also see how many calories you are using, and therefore how much weight you can lose. Alternatively use Google maps to measure a path that you will walk on a regular basis. Use the measure tool and select the Path tab and measure from there.
Pace and cardio exercise when walking
When you begin you don’t necessarily need to walk at a fast pace all the time. It is important to remember that you need to warm up gradually, so start at your normal pace for five minutes. A tip here is that to increase your cardio workout, you will need to occasionally walk as fast as you can. Keep this fast-pace only for one minute.
You may prefer to set yourself a visible marker ahead that indicates the end of your fast-pace spurt. Once you reach this marker slow down again to your normal pace. You should be able to feel your heart beating strong. This is ideal as you are now working switching between the fat-burning zone (slow) and cardio (fast). Slow down to normal pace for a minute or so, and then set the fast pace again. Continue to pulse your walking like this for maximum workout potential.
Nordic walking sticks
You may also consider purchasing Nordic walking sticks. Not only do these sticks provide support, but they exercise your upper body and improve calorie burning. Increasing the efficiency of your walking workout is an added bonus. A suitable sporting shop and instructor can assist you in how to use Nordic walking sticks.
One of the benefits of walking is that it really doesn’t feel like exercise. It can readily be adapted to fit into your normal day. Instead of using a car to go to see a friend, if practical, walk as a workout instead.
By understanding that walking is a huge health bonus, and is easy to start, you will begin feeling better and healthier. The possibility to use it as a workout will have dramatic effects on your overall health. Just remember to pulse your walk while ensuring you are hydrated properly.
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Do you prefer to walk alone or with somebody?
Walk with a Friend or Walking Solo
Walking as a form of exercise provides many additional health benefits. Yet is it preferable to walk alone, or with the company of a friend or partner? Two different elements, dependent on an individual, need to be considered when answering this question. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages, and be interchangeable depending on an individual’s mood.
Walking provides so many health benefits, that as an exercise, it’s very valuable to you as an active individual. Gaining and improving upon your health, becomes a key to increased longevity and both physical and mental wellbeing. Walking helps improve cardiovascular fitness, reducing the risk of cancers, heart disease, and strokes. Walking is an easy exercise and requires no specialised equipment or training.
Walking solo for contemplation
Often walking solo has the advantage of allowing you to lose yourself in the walk, absorbing the sights, sounds, and colours of your environment. This can help alleviate depressive moods and anxiety, further reinforcing a time of contemplation. Having another person present may in fact disrupt this meditative thinking, and therefore stop the thoughts from becoming resolved.
Yet often having company and a partner on a walk leads to a greater discovery and a memory together, for sharing at a later point. Another walker also offers a pace setting functionality, encouraging you to walk further and for a greater distance. Personal safety needs addressing depending on your location, as having another person can maximize your awareness of dangers and present company for protection against possible threats.
Planning the optimum walking route for yourself
Planning walking routes in remote areas of the countryside means that you will have greater potential to explore wondrous locations. Increasing your supply of water, food, and items for comfort can lead to a better walking experience for you both. Walking with a partner, or even a group, will not only lead to new discoveries, but a social element’s added to your walk. Making friends and developing your social skills leads not only to your self-development as an individual, but helps forge new friendships and encounters.
Solo walking however can also allow a person to walk a distance and pace they feel comfortable with. An unmatched partner who’s not a strong walker may slow a more proficient walker from accomplishing their best walking lengths. This could lead to some antagonism between the walkers, even if not vocalised.
Walking either solo or with a friend really becomes a choice of personal preference. Overtime and indeed, from day-to-day, these preferences can change. There’s no need to limit your walking to a single experience. Each type of walking has its own merits and should be a part of your overall walking experience.
Portable LED torches for your personal safety
Carry a small LED torch for any areas of potential darkness. Small LED torches remain easily affordable. They also last an extremely long time. If the the areas dark, allow your eyes to become dark-adjusted before trying to navigate to your car. Dark-adjusted eyes can see far more effectively than eyes that have just entered darkness.
Confidence when walking on the dark
Walk with confidence. Surprisingly, a strong confident walk projects the image that you're capable of looking after your-self while remaining familiar with the territory. A weak scared walk will project to other people that you’re already afraid, and therefore a potentially easy victim.
Walking to your car
When you have unlocked your car instantly think of your safety. Once inside lock the doors immediately to protect you from outside intruders. If the area’s notorious for anti-social or criminal behaviour, ask a colleague or an associate if they would escort you to the safety of your car.
Personal Safety Tips for Walking in the Dark
Personal safety remains an essential part of our survival. Becoming aware of how to remain safe, we can ensure we’re safe from personal harm. Parking lots often present large open spaces which appear to suggest many dark unprotected areas. However the following tips will increase your personal protection.
Attention of the senses when walking in the dark
Keep your senses alert by listening or viewing all sounds. Try to focus on the position of the person while trying to understand what they doing or who the sound belongs too. Humans have highly effective positional hearing combined with sight, so take advantage of your natural abilities. Take note of the position of CCTV (closed circuit television cameras) making sure you’re positioned so they can see you. In the unlikely event of anything happening, a controller will spot your problems.
Prepare your self-defences - keys as weapons for protection
Have your house or car keys ready so you do not waste time when you get to your car looking for your keys. It’s always a good idea to have a panic alarm attached to your key ring too. A key’s also a good deterrent weapon, if the unlikely event of an attack, its sharp edges can help protect you. The eyes remain a weak point to sharp objects.
Planning your route in advance
Plan ahead so your walk avoids hedges, bushes, and underpasses. Wherever possible walk directly under an available street light. This will help protect you when you return later on in the evening. Keep aware of other people while noting their behaviour and movements. If they’re loitering or look suspicious, alert the authorities. It’s always better to remain safe than sorry.
The risk of personal attack remains fortunately very small. However becoming aware of how you need to behave you can remain far safer than before. Protect yourself when walking by using small devices such as the LED torch. Think ahead, while using lights ad CCTV for your protection. Be confident, while showing awareness for those around you. Be safe while using your common sense.
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Walking as Exercise and your Personal Safety
The key points to walking as an exercise can be summarised:
- Strengthens your cardiovascular system i.e. Heart and Lungs
- Helps you burn calories
- Helps you relax
- Connects you with nature
- Can help you socialise if you prefer walking in company
- Keeping safe when walking in the dark is important
- Use a torch to help you feel greater security
- Plan your rotes if you walk in the day or night
Walking really is one of the best, simplest, and economical exercises going. There’s no reason not to give it a try.