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Sweat and Speed. The Wonders of Walking

January 6, 2011

Walking, the top recommendation for exercise that truly delivers results. For weight loss, kicking up the metabolism, de stressing, brain health, heart health…..and so on. It is the way nature intended for us to exercise. But fast and furious is the way to do it. One kilometer in 10 to 12 minutes is fast. One kilometer in 12 to 15 minutes is good. Anything slower is a stroll and has minimal if any health benefits. Distance to be covered? Start with 3 km and build up to 7 km. Speed is more important than distance. Step span is for you to decide but keep it as long as is comfortable. Some of us find that small steps help you walk faster. I would say it is a matter of practice. Walk at least 5 days a week. 

You MUST build up a sweat. Interval training is an option, that is to walk a bit and jog a bit. Swing your arms so that the shoulders get exercised.  Power walking I have to say is a  sure but not necessarily the only way to work up a sweat. It does however give your shoulders more exercise and for some reason – in my experience – actually helps in walking faster!

Walk straight, try not to look down, keep your neck up and shoulders back. I was told by some one who knows Pilates, that the correct walking posture is to suck in the abdomen muscles, raise the diaphragm and drop the shoulders. This will also help you take off flab on the stomach. Let me add another tip here: when stepping out come down on your heel and rise up on the toes before taking the next step. This will give you the gait that made the MBT shoes famous for exercising leg muscles. And now of course you have a number of brands promising you walking shoes with all kinds of muscle benefit. 

Best time for walking? Some experts say that walking in the morning before breakfast delivers the most benefit. But I imagine evening should serve just as well. Before the walk a glass of water is important and after the walk I would recommend three glasses! 

For me there is a post walking routine as well that adds more value to the exercising experience. An hour-long round of yoga asanas, prayanama and meditation.

Fresh in new research into how much energy is used in walking……http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101112075957.htm?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+sciencedaily+%28ScienceDaily%3A+Latest+Science+News%29

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From → General Health

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