Walking is a convenient and effective form of exercise. With the proper knowledge, all you need is a good pair of comfortable shoes and a safe area to walk. Let’s explore the basics!
Use the following TIPS to walk with proper form:
- Walk tall with an elongated spine
- Maintain a neutral head position and scan the horizon with your gaze
- Make ground contact with the foot underneath the hip line
- Plant softly
- Swing arms straight forward and back with an elbow angle of 90 degrees for extra calorie burning
- Above all else, remain loose and relaxed
Training Progression Guidelines
As you will learn in Chapter 5 Fitness (FITT Principle), when considering exercise prescription you should keep four factors (Frequency, Intensity, Time, and Type) in mind. When increasing your walking time and/or distance, don’t progress too quickly, and if anything hurts take some time off. It is vital for you to listen to your body. If you are in pain and attempt to continue progressing, you will likely cause even more harm to your body and overall health. Specific warm-up progression guidelines are in the following sub-module.
Ultimately… staying smart is staying in-tune with your body!
The Benefits of Walking
Although walking may seem like a simple and underrated form of exercise, there are a number of benefits to implementing a brisk walk into your daily routine for at least 150 minutes a week. According to the American Heart Association, research has reported walking can:
- Prevent or manage various health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure
- Improve your overall mental wellbeing, reducing feels such as depression
- Create less stress on the joints and in turn reduce pain
- Increase your levels of energy and stamina throughout the day