Posts tagged “walking”
Walking is a low impact cardiovascular exercise that involve the major muscles working in a repetitive fashion for an extended period of time.
There is a variety of benefits you can obtain from a walk, depending on its intensity and how hard you push yourself.
- Leisure Walk is done at a moderate pace, it is great for relaxation and as a kick start when you are just beginning to exercise. it stimulates mental well-being and inspires meditation.
- Hiking, also called Cross-country hiking or Bushwalking, helps you strengthen your calf and glute muscles as you discover your surroundings. Variations of this exercise place emphasis on different muscles of your lower body and boost your cardiovascular activity. Hikng is typically done in a wild setting or dirt rail, as opposed to the flat terrain preferred for walking.
- Challenge Courses are a fun variation of hiking, and is usually done in groups, as you will need others to help you sort through the several obstacles along the course, like rope ladders, climbing and tight ropes.
- Interval Training consists of combining periods of moderate and intense walking, which can contribute to burning more calories the more vigorously you exercise. Start out with a light-paced walk for 5 to 10 minutes to warm up, then walk as fast as you can for 20 seconds, walk at a moderate pace for 40 seconds, and continue to alternate back and forth for 20 to 30 minutes.
- Sprint Training is very similar to interval training in that you do high intensity bursts. Walk for 5 to 10 minutes, sprint as hard as you can for 30 seconds, then walk for 60 to 90 seconds. Alternate back and forth for 20 to 30 minutes. You are basically using walking for your rest periods instead of standing still.
Whichever the type of walk is right for you, remember to do it at your own pace. Racing or distance are not the goals, moving at a comfortable pace your body can handle and benefit from is. Control your breathing and enjoy the scenery around you. It will make it the most fun and provide you with better results.
Walking is the simplest form of exercise, it is free and easy to incorporate into any lifestyle. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends 30 minutes of moderate level physical activity five days a week to see results which range from improving strength and cardiovascular health to weight loss.
A recent study in England also proved that daily walks have the ability to improve one’s mood, as the exercise releases natural endorphins that can elevate the mood of depressed patients better than antidepressants.
What walking CAN do for you:
- Increase weight loss
- Lower blood pressure
- Improve balance
- Reduce stress.
What walking CANNOT do for you:
- Build muscle bulk
- Offer a controlled environment like a gym
- Provide a predictable calorie burn like on a treadmill machine.
Follow us next week for an installment on What type of walk is the right one for you.