Walking is a great, low-impact way to exercise, and a fantastic, free way to get around. So how do you get the most out of your walking regime to ensure you keep your fitness level and weight where you want them?
Fitness magazine have some great tips for walking your way to fitness, and to maximise the benefit of this under-rated form of exercise.
Pace – Aim for a walking speed that’s about 75 percent of your maximum effort. A very brisk 4.5 miles per hour burns 403 calories an hour, which is great. The trick is to not to let it dip below 3 miles per hour – the point at which women drop below the moderate-intensity exercise zone, the minimum you need to do to get cardio benefits from your workout.
Form – To maximize the benefits of a walking workout, perfect your form — perk up your pace and your posture.
- SHOULDERS Draw your shoulders down and back to open your chest. Imagine squeezing a pencil between your shoulder blades.
- CHIN Position your chin so it’s parallel to the ground, not jutting forward.
- LIFTED Lift your ribs away from your hips. Don’t puff out your chest.
- PELVIS To find a healthy, neutral position for your spine, tip your pelvis forward and back as far as it can go, then settle it in the middle.
- TRANSVERSE Put your hands on your hips, feel the transverse abdominal muscles near your fingertips, and draw them in and up. Remove hands and keep this ab area firm as you breathe.
Count – Repeat “one, two, one, two” as you stride.
Go Green – A walk in natural surroundings has stress reduction benefits – all the better to prevent stress bingeing at home.
Sequence – Tune in to the pattern of your arms swinging in rhythm with your feet.