Which workout can easily be the most overrated and at the same time be the most under estimated exercise?? Think; remember the sight in the mornings in all the parks and gardens.
Yes!! Walking is the most easy and convenient workout for all ages. It requires no equipment other than two feet and a pair of shoes, though that is also optional. Be the morning walks or the evening stroll everyone agrees that it is good for us.
It is said that walking is the second most natural activity to come to humans other than breathing. Great, right! But since it is very easy doesn’t mean that we don’t take it seriously and do it without a thought.
Any exercise will only be effective if we challenge our bodies and stretch our limits; otherwise it is boring. No wonder, some people walk for many years but end up looking the same and losing no weight.
So here are the things to consider when you take up walking as a workout:
Warm up: Like in all exercises, warm up is essential in walking too. When you walk without warming up, instead of burning the fat in your body, you tend to burn up the available sugar. So you will easily be tired but not necessarily burning fats.
Warming up for few minutes tells your muscles that you are going to do an activity and they have burn the fat deposits.
Start slow: For the beginners, start with walking for 15 minutes per day at an easy pace. Rather than starting with gusto and fizzling out soon; walk for 2 days at once and take rest on 3rdand again on the 6th. Build that consistency. The goal for a week can be 60 minutes of walking for the beginners.
Take it forward from here. Add 5 minutes after each week i.e. walk for 20 minutes in the second week and 25 minutes in the third week.
Increase the speed: After graduating to walking comfortably for 30 minutes in a week, start increasing your walking speed. But remember -don’t do it if cannot walk for 30 minutes comfortably!
-Increasing speed is essential because your body otherwise takes it easy. Being comfortable essentially doesn’t help you enough.
-When you walk at a speed of 50-70% of your heart rate, you get a good cardio.
-When you walk faster, the muscles are worked up; these muscles are taught to burn calories and are more effective in doing so. So, you burn more calories every day easily.
- You burn 1.5-2 times as many calories over the same distance.
Increase the time: Now, you need to spend more time walking.
Spend 10 minutes walking in easy pace, and then do 10 minutes of stretching exercises and then do brisk walking for 30 minutes and again slow the pace and walk the end 10 minutes in easy pace.
These 60 minutes of walking will really make a difference in your fitness levels.
Be regular: In order to lose weight, you need to be consistent in your routine. You don’t have to spend 1 hour walking every day. Have your rest day in middle of the week.
When you don’t have time, and want to skip the walk try to compensate by doing it in the evening or walking extra to work.
If you discontinue the routine the body forgets the fitness activity and returns to ‘depositing fat’ routine.
Rest days: You should not have more than 1-2 rest days in a week. On a rest day, train yourself in strength training.
Here is what benefits that walking provides:
- Reduces weight,
- Slows down ageing process.
- Reduces chances of Diabetes, Colon Cancer and Heart Disease.
- Reduces Depression symptoms
- Improves fitness, builds stamina,
- Good for your bones
Com'on do you still need a reason to walk?? Just do it!