That’s a photo of me with my mum and dad doing a long hike to Montezuma Falls in Tasmania. We LOVE walking!
Walking is one of the first major milestones we reach in our lives, and one that is most certainly praised (and shared a thousand times over on social media!) by our loved ones.
You would be surprised that after doing it for so long, that many people are actually doing it wrong.
Yep, I know – crazy right? How could someone be ‘doing it wrong’ when walking comes so naturally?
Walking may not be the most effective way to burn body fat, but it does have some incredible benefits, so it’s well worth taking the time to make sure you are getting the most out of your wanderings. Plus, by ‘tweaking’ the way you walk, you CAN burn more body fat!
Aside from the mental health benefits and the positive effects on your overall health and well-being, walking has been shown to decrease your chances of ending up with heart disease and diabetes and a brief 15-20 minute walk after meals has been shown to reduce your blood sugar levels significantly.
It’s a fairly safe way to exercise with far less injuries occurring during your afternoon stroll than going for a run or a jog. Did you know over 50% of people who jog end up injured?
It makes sense when you think about it. For every 1.5km you run, your feet hit the ground about 900 times. Estimating that you weigh about 70kg, would mean over 60,000 kilos of force pounds against your joints, ligaments and every other part of your body! Wowsers! As much as I love running, I haven’t been for a years due to the pain it has caused in my knees.
Running is also a type of exercise known as ‘steady state cardio’ which has been shown to have a negative impact on overall health and well-being, and fat-loss goals.
With that in mind, walking is a safe and great place to start your exercise journey and a fantastic way to improve your overall health and fitness on an ongoing basis. Don’t get me wrong, you do still need to incorporate some type of resistance training into your exercise regime and you MUST add in some exercise that gets your heart rate up. I recommend HiiT training (high intensity interval training).
Click here for some simple stretching, resistance, cardio and balance exercises you can do anywhere. http://www.aussiedestinationsunknown.com.au/2019/02/21/15-exercises-for-caravanning-seniors/http://www.aussiedestinationsunknown.com.au/2019/02/21/15-exercises-for-caravanning-seniors/
Ok – back to walking! What do I suggest?
The interval power walk – a fantastic way to boost the benefits of walking.
- Walk hard and fast for a while (maybe to the next telegraph pole or tree) and then slow down and bring your heart rate back down before doing it again.
- It’s not about how long your stride is or how much you swing your arms … it’s all about your belly! Yep – making sure that you draw your belly button in towards your spine is crucial.
- Engaging your transverse abdominals is key to supporting your lower back. It is also a great idea to engage your pelvic floor muscles for the entire duration of your walk.
Activating these muscles helps to stabilizes your core so you can generate power safely through your legs.
- This will also help to tone your butt, legs and tummy. Bonus!
- Start out by walking for 30 minutes per day 3 times a week.
- As you get fitter, work your way up to a daily walk, and increase the length of your walks.
Here are some ways to sneak some more steps into your week.
Walk and talk:
- Most of us use mobile phones these days, so make the most of them and get mobile! Walk around, even on the spot, for the duration of the call.
Take the stairs:
- Avoid elevators and escalators where possible and choose the path of most resistance … stairs!
Park at the opposite end of the car park:
- Don’t look for the park closest to the door, park further away and add those sneaky steps to your daily tally.
- Schedule your walk into your calendar and stick to it like you would an appointment. It’s locked in – you have to do it!
Make it fun:
- Walk the dog, walk with a friend, walk somewhere beautiful. If you enjoy it, you’re more likely to keep it up.
If you are a fan of walking, I’d love to hear from you.
Please, comment below and let me know,
- How many time per week do you walk?
- How long do you walk for?
- Where do you go?
- Who do you go with?
- What’s the main reason you walk?
I hope this has helped motivate you to get out and start walking if you aren’t already!