Friday, July 14, 2023

Tips To Improve Your Walking


Although there are tons of activities to do during the summer, not everyone is going to bike, or kayak, or even participate in a bootcamp activity.  Some folks, such as my mother, would only walk.  She walked around the neighborhood and she loved to walk with someone so she could talk during the process. She loved to talk.  Anyway, if you would rather just walk, there are a few things you can do to make your walk more effective.  

First step is to set a brisk walk to increase the rate of the heart and burn more calories.  Aim for a pace of three to four miles per hour or a pace that feels moderately intense but comfortable.  When you walk, always stand tall, head up, align your neck, hips, and knees so you stand straight.  Pull your belly button to your spine or as my dad loved to say "Suck in your guts". When you stand properly you reduce the possibility of injury while walking. 

Hold your arms at a 90 degree angle and swing them back and forth. This movement engages the muscles in your upper body and makes your walk more intense so you burn more calories.  If you can, include inclines so you go uphill or down hill but I am aware that not every place has that available so I've been known to find an area I can pop into a building and use the stairs before continuing. If you walk on a machine, make sure to include several inclines so you get that extra push.

Throw in some interval training by adding short bursts of higher intensity training with short jogs or increased walking so you feel it.  Think about walking normally for a couple of minutes and then jog for 30 seconds before repeating the pattern multiple times.  This is another way to increase calorie burn.  When you walk or jog, think about keeping your abdominal muscles engaged as it helps strengthen the core, and improves stability and posture, both are needed as you age.

You also need some body weight strengthening exercises as part of the walk.  Throw in calf raises, lunges, and squats as a way of adding that.  Think about pausing the walk to do a lunges, walk more, then incorporate squats, walk more, then stop for some calf raises, and repeat the whole pattern.  Adding in the strength training targets different sets of muscles groups which increases the effectiveness of the walk.

Over time, slowly increase the rate and distance of your walk gradually, so you keep increasing your endurance, while burning additional calories. Begin with a few blocks, start increasing your speed and then slowly extend your distance and soon, you'll be walking miles.  In addition, walk regularly.  Try to walk at least 30 minutes a day for most of the week to experience maximum effectiveness.  If you have to put it in your calendar, do it.  I have my exercise listed in my planner, every day.  If it's on the list, I get it done.  

The final thing is to put the app on your phone to help keep track of steps, distance, and calories burned so you see the results. This allows you to set goals, monitor how well you are meeting your goals, and change your goals as the original ones are reached.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great weekend. 

No comments:

Post a Comment