There’s no doubt about it, walking is an excellent physical activity that can add to your fitness. Can you get fit by just walking? The answer is no. You need all types of fitness, balance, strength, endurance, and flexibility. Walking provides cardio and some strength building in the legs. Walking is something most people can do that benefits almost everyone. It means you should increase it, but get other types of exercise, too.
If you’ve lived a sedentary lifestyle, get moving and go for a walk.
Walking is an excellent way for a sedentary individual to start a workout program. It can help build endurance and prepare them for traditional workouts that are more difficult. No matter what your age, walking is a healthy option. It’s good for seniors, but even they need more than just a long walk daily. As you age, you lose muscle mass which slows your metabolism. Strength training builds muscle mass. Flexibility exercises help prevent those creaking joints that sneak up with age.
You can make walking a more effective exercise by turning it into HIIT training.
HIIT stands for high intensity interval training. It’s not a type of exercise but a way of doing any exercise. You alternate your pace and intensity between high intensity and recovery, doing a minute at high intensity and the same time or longer at recovery, then back to high intensity. It’s all a matter of changing your pace on your walk. It boosts your progress and helps you get fit faster.
Walking is a starting point, but not the ultimate for fitness.
Use walking as a supplement or a starting point. You can add it in increments throughout the day. If you plan on walking three days a week in addition to days in the gym, you can break it up into sections. Taking three ten-minute walks provides the same benefits as taking one thirty-minute walk. If you’re out of shape, start with 10 minutes of traditional gym workouts and twenty minutes of walking every day. Then slowly switch some of that walking time to traditional exercise workouts until you have three days of those and three days of walking.
- Make your walking more effective by getting some upper body exercise. Swing your arms vigorously or carry a five-pound weight in each hand or wear wrist weights. You can walk and punch to the front and sides as you walk to build arm muscle strength.
- If you live indoors, barely experiencing the sun, walking can help boost your vitamin D. To make walks more difficult, vary the terrain. Walk on uneven terrain, uphill, downhill, and on flat surfaces.
- Focus on your posture when you walk. Keep your chin level with the ground, hold your shoulders back, keep your eyes looking straight ahead, and try to push your head through the clouds so you walk taller.
- Even if it is just a walk, warm up before you begin and cool down after you finish. If you’re walking outside, be safe. Walk with a friend during the day or let someone know your path. Give a friend or two the ability to track your phone.
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