Walking may just be one of the most underrated forms of exercise out there. But don’t let its sheer simplicity fool you. Walking briskly every day for 10 to 30 minutes can contribute to your fitness goals.
Considered as a bodyweight exercise, walking has many health benefits including but not limited to:
increased cardiovascular and pulmonary (heart and lung) fitness
reduced risk of heart disease and stroke
improved management of conditions such as hypertension (high blood pressure), high cholesterol, joint and muscular pain or stiffness, and diabetes
Here’s how you can get more out of your daily walks:
Warm Up Before Starting Your Walk
While brisk walking isn’t as intense as a HIIT session, you should still ensure that your joints and muscles are warmed up. Mobility plays an important role in any physical activity whether it’s low or high impact.
Before you start your walk, perform some dynamic warmups like toe and heel raises and ankle push outs.
Use Proper Posture
Proper form is important no matter what exercise you’re doing. Proper posture is key if you want to avoid stressing your joints, having back pain, and having breathing issues while you walk.
Keep your head centered over your body to avoid neck issues with your shoulders pushed slight back so your chest remains open. Avoid overarching your lower back or tucking your pelvis. It’s also a good idea to engage your core by bracing your belly towards your back. As you walk, remember to step on your heel first and roll towards you toe.
Swing Your Arms
Use your arm swings to intensify your pace. Maintain a natural bend in your elbows and keep them close to your body. Avoid clenching your arms or holding any object in them. Remember that your arms work opposite of your feet. So, when your left foot is stepping forward, your right arm is doing the same, and vice versa.
One of the easiest ways to intensify your walking workout is by walking up an incline or up a hill. Your body naturally shifts to power your uphill walks by shortening your stride and engaging your glutes and thighs more.