Walking is an excellent low-impact exercise. Studies suggest that for every hour of walking, your life expectancy could increase by two hours. Plus, according to the American Heart Association, walking is the most effective exercise for heart health. You can even burn as many calories walking as you would jogging and relieve stress at the same time! Check out these tips for getting the most out walking for exercise.
Get Your Arms Moving
Moving your arms while you walk increases the effectiveness of your exercise by burning more calories and engaging more muscles. Pumping your arms while you walk helps propel you faster. Plus, if you add 2-5 pound hand weights you’ll work your arms and core muscles too.
Vary Your Route
To keep from getting bored, try a variety of walking routes or add interval training into your walks. Choose a path that includes inclines to boost the calories you burn. If that’s not possible, build in intervals of quicker walking followed by a slower pace. For instance, walk for a minute at a medium pace and then speed up for 30 seconds. Many sources such as Fitness magazine offer specific walking workouts for you to try.
Practice Proper Technique
A key to getting the most out of your walks is using proper posture and technique. According to the Mayo Clinic, you should walk with your head up looking forward and not at the ground. Slightly tighten your stomach muscles and keep your back straight. This posture keeps your core engaged. As you step, roll
When working on intervals, increase your pace, not your stride. That means taking more steps, not longer steps, to increase your speed and calories burned.
Choose the Right Shoes
Good walking shoes are a must-have when you’re walking for exercise. Walking shoes with good arch support and cushioning soles help prevent damage to your feet, knees, and hips. Choosing the proper walking shoes is vital since your foot care needs and walking style are unique.
Shoes are the most essential walking equipment, but there are other accessories you can use to maximize your walk. For instance, a pair of walking poles can help you burn more calories and engage a wider variety of muscles, while a pedometer can help you track your progress. Make it a competition and see who can take the most steps in a day! Aim for 10,000 steps per day to improve your health.
MedicineNet says that walking is an excellent form of aerobic exercise that could be more effective for heart health than jogging. Whether you’re walking to lose weight or just to promote better health, with proper technique and a good pair of shoes, you’ll soon be on the path to success.