Why Chi Walking is So Beneficial
5 Principles of Chi Walking
Chi Walking uses Tai Chi methods to promote more efficient walking. It's a great builder of core strength, while increasing speed and decreasing stress on joints. If you're just starting an exercise program this is a great way to go because you won't get sore. In fact, you'll think you're not walking enough to make a difference...but then you'll start to lose weight and tone up!
Five principles in Chi Walking that make it different are:
- Right Body Posture. The knees, hips, and shoulder are aligned to the ankles. The pelvic bone is "zipped up" so that the low back is flat and not swayed.
- Relieves back pain. Movement through the hips is forward and back not side to side. This relieves stress on the knees.
- Walk further and faster with less effort. Keeping the body straight, you begin walking by leaning forward at the ankles. The feet are kept under the knees and don't stride out in front. Walking becomes a controlled fall with short but quick steps.
- Develop healthy habits. The Chi Walking program doesn't just teach good technique physically but also good mental techniques.
- Mindful Practice: For anyone who wanted to learn to meditate but just couldn't "sit" there...chi walking is for you!
Chi Walking a Marathon
Walking or Running?
Do you prefer walking over running?
The Top Benefits of Walking
Contrary to what we're shown on TV, exercise doesn't have to be long, arduous and strenuous for positive benefits. Walking at just a moderate pace for 20 minutes a day can be extremely beneficial including:
- Lowering blood sugar after meals
- Improving lymph flow throughout the body which flushes out toxins and improves immune functions
- Improve cardiovascular functioning
- Relieve depression
Chi Walking in 5 Easy Steps
Get the Chi Walking App
The founder of Chi Walking is Danny Dryer. He spent hours learning Tai Chi then developing the concepts for walkers and runners. It really is a pain free way to get exercise and have a lot more fun while doing it. Now there's a Chi Hiking App available on the Apple App site. Check out this page to learn more: http://www.chiwalking.com/chiwalking-app
Chi Walking DVD Program
Learn the 5 parts of Chi Walking at home and at your own pace. I got this set and really liked it but it worked even better after getting a private lesson and then reviewing with this info.
My Chi Walking Story
In 2008, I wanted to begin an exercise program to lose weight, get fit, and be healthier. But being overweight makes starting an exercise program very painful. Then I saw a book about Chi Walking and was fascinated with the energetic part of it. I signed up for a lesson with a certified teacher and began discovering a new way of life!
First I noticed...I could walk farther and faster than ever before..and yet it didn't feel like I was! My knees and feet didn't hurt while I was walking and my muscles didn't hurt in the following days.
Then I noticed my fear of falling and being off balanced disappeared. Going downhill or down stairs became easy and controlled in the right way.
Even more exciting was how I began to lose weight and keep losing it even when I wasn't walking a lot. My first month I lost 8 pounds and I only walked 8 days because of a big snow storm that hit our state.
I originally wanted to be running but Chi Walking gave me everything I wanted and more. Now I'm planning walking trips to places like El Camino in Spain.
My Absolute Favorite Shoes for Walking
Obviously, by the name, they work for running as well. Lightweight and so comfortable. And boy do they last! Not sure why the listed as costing just a penny...they are listed on Amazon as $36 to $156.
Top 3 Reasons to Chi Walk
Chi Walking can be moderated depending on your goals. Here are the top three reasons Chi Walking is used:
Fitness Walking: Blending the benefits of walking with Tai Chi (balance, strength and mental focus), Chi Walking is a great way to build your overall fitness and well-being. Walking benefits include moving the lymph fluid in the body (just like blood but totally dependent on muscle movement) which improves your immune system. The Chi Walking book/DVD provides different kind of walks depending on your fitness goals including aerobic or cardio.
Weight Loss: Walking is the #1 weight loss tool with proven results. What no one talks about, though, is that energy management can also help to lose weight. Moving your chi or energy through the body, help release stagnant stores of fat. Chi Walking combines the best of physical with energy.
Rehab Walking: Whether you are recovering from surgery, have replaced joints, staying mobile in later years, just starting a fitness program or recovering from an illness, Chi Walking is an excellent option. It lets you do more with less stress to the body.
Best Walking Trails
Besides getting fit, adding a goal such as a marathon or a hiking/walking travel adventure can keep you motivated. I'm looking forward to some hiking adventures. Here are some great ones I'd love to do some day:
- El Camino, Spain: To walk the whole thing you need at least a month! But it's okay to just walk parts of it. There are lots of hospices along the way or hotels, so you don't have to camp.
- Five Footpaths of Italy's Cinque Terra: What's not to love about hiking/walking through Italy! The only challenge might be getting out of the restaurants.
- Cloud Forests of Costa Rica: The amazing trees of the rainforest of Costa Rica, along with wonderful lodges to stay in. What's not to love?
- Southwest Ireland: From castles, to sand dunes, to Killarney National Park, this is an amazing peninsula to hike.
Want to go with a touring company? Here are two good ones:
Backroads Walking Tours: With guides
Hooked on Hiking: Located in England with guided and self-guided tours
Walking with Poles
Pole Walking vs Chi Walking
Many people have discovered that pole walking helps them with knee and hip pain. They help with balance and going up and down hills. Additionally, they engage the arms to help build strength.
Chi Walking, though, teaches correct body mechanics without aids. It keeps the center of gravity at the hips (while poles can switch center of gravity to the shoulders) and the energy of the body centered in the core.
It would be great if, you could combine both styles. Ultimately, it's going to be a choice of poles vs. chi walking as they don't mix in their styles and objectives.
Poles or Chi Walking?
Do you have a preference of poles, chi walking or regular walking?
If you're going to Poles..get the best!