Are you so out of shape you’re too embarrassed to go to a gym? Is the discretionary income in your budget in the Arctic zone—below zero? You don’t have to spend a lot of money or let anyone know you’re exercising if you choose walking as your way to get fit. Walking is great exercise that you can do anywhere. You can adjust it for your fitness level. You do want the proper footwear and comfortable clothing.
People who live a sedentary lifestyle can start increasing their activity level by walking.
Walking is a mild exercise that you can adjust to your level of fitness. You can modify your walk and turn it into a HIIT workout. HIIT stands for high intensity interval training, where you adjust the intensity of any exercise by doing it at peak intensity—in the case of walking peak speed—then lowering it to a recovery intensity—which is a normal pace in walking. It’s also easy to modify your workout by extending the distance as you get fitter. You’ll probably notice it’s easier to walk a block after a few weeks and can either increase your speed, distance or both.
Walking definitely provides cardio, but what about strength and flexibility training?
There’s no doubt about it, walking is a great cardio exercise. It also provides lower body strength. However, you still don’t get the flexibility workout. You need to warm up before you do any type of exercise, including walking. You can add some dynamic stretches while you’re walking, too. As you walk, lift one foot, but put it behind you, grab it, stretch and then step down in front. Do knee raised walking, forward lunges, hop and swing—hopping on one leg as you lift and swing the other and stretch your arms upward then swing as you take each step.
Carrying small weights or bottled water and pumping your arms can build upper body strength.
There are arm weights you can wear if you want to be inconspicuous or weights you can carry to build upper body strength. Punching your way as you walk can also tone your arms and build muscle. It might not look pretty, but if you’re walking, doing a set of these can help all upper body muscles. Start by punching forward with your right arm as you step forward with your left foot, bring it back and punch with the left as you step forward on the right foot. Add side punches and upward punches, always step on the opposite foot from the arm that punches.
- For most people it becomes a starting point as they start to feel more energetic and stronger. Then they supplement with other exercises.
- While you can walk inside, like at an indoor mall, you’ll get more out of walking outside in a natural setting. The vitamin D from the sun and the ever-changing terrain can add many benefits.
- Walk safely. Make sure people know where you’re walking or let someone track your cell phone. Wear reflective clothing if walking at night. Walk with a friend, especially at night. Dress appropriately for the weather.
- No matter what exercise you do, form is important. It’s also true of walking. Carry yourself tall with your chin level to the ground, shoulders straight, back straight and eyes looking straight ahead.
For more information, contact us today at Targeted Nutrition Technologies