Walking for Wellness
Fitness walking is a type of walking done to promote health and fitness-it is the easiest form of exercise and great for those who are looking for enjoyable, simple, safe ways to promote health. Some of the benefits of fitness walking include weight loss, stress reduction and increased cardiovascular endurance, the body's ability to use oxygen and better sleep habits.
The list goes on and not to sound cliche, but a “body in motion stays in motion.”
When designing your walking program, keep in mind to start out slow, too much exercise on the first day can lead to unnecessary pain and injury. Start out slow and increase your time, and or intensity, by no more than 10 percent per week. Include a proper warm up and cool down. Your warm up should include either slow walking or marching in place followed by light stretching. A cool down should start with a slow decrease in speed, continuing to gradually decrease intensity, followed by static stretches holding each stretch for 15-30 seconds. The muscles are warm so you can take these stretches a bit deeper and hold longer than in the warm up.
Ten tips to get you started
- Choose the proper footwear, running shoes and walking shoes are different . Walking shoes should flex at the forefoot
- Learn proper form: start with a heel strike, roll to the balls of the feet and push off with the toes. HEEL- BALL- TOE
- Hips should be facing forward- try not to wiggle side to side, for some this is our natural swagger
- Do not keep your hands in your pockets. Let your arms move they automatically want to swing. (90 degree angle at the elbow joint)
- Do not bounce when walking, find your proper stride not too long or too short
- Choose appropriate gear for the weather
- Chart your progress- there are plenty of walking apps to download
- Take pulse checks - try to stay in your target heart rate range
- Set goals
- HYDRATE HYDRATE HYDRATE!
Take the time to unplug, listen to the sounds around you, enjoy mother nature and get lost in your thoughts. Walk for Wellness!