Ways to Tweak Your Walking Routine

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There are a wide variety of exercises that can help you stay fit and healthy. One of these exercises is walking, which is also regarded as one of the simplest. What’s even better is that you don’t need any special training equipment.

According to health and fitness experts, walking offers excellent health benefits.

Benefits of Walking

Fitness experts recommend at least 150 minutes of exercise per week. Broken down, this translate to an average 30-minute walk for five days. Walking improves your cardio fitness. It also helps burn excess calories, which could otherwise lead to conditions such as obesity and high blood pressure.

Additionally, taking a walk every day boosts your stability by strengthening your bones and leg muscles. Walking also helps relieve stress by triggering the release of happy chemicals in your system.

Why You Should Choose Walking

The top reason why walking is a good workout is that it is a low-impact exercise. What this means is that it doesn’t put excess stress on your joints and bones. It is also equipment free and can be done almost anywhere.

Another surprising fact about walking is that it gives you the opportunity to explore nature, which by itself has excellent mental health benefits.

Walking is also great if you have spent long time on the sidelines without training, are overweight, or are recovering from a muscle injury.

Make Walking Part of Your Routine  

To turn your walks into a workout, you need to make them a routine. If it is your first time, you can start small, depending on your fitness levels, and then build on that. For example, you can start by taking 10-15-minute walks then progress from there once you feel comfortable.

For working people, you can opt to take the stairs every morning while heading to the office instead of the elevator. Besides that, you can also park your car some distance away from your office and walk in.

Get Yourself a Pedometer

A pedometer is a great device that’ll help you monitor your daily progress. It will also help motivate you to walk more.

Running vs. Walking

As discussed earlier, walking is a low-intensity exercise. However, some people choose to ditch walking for jogging in the hope of making the session more intense and powerful. However, climbing a flight of stairs offers similar advantages.

High-intensity workouts have numerous health benefits that cannot be overlooked. Running gets your heart pounding at a faster rate which is good for your cardio health.

Boosting Your Walking Routine

As we have discussed, walking is the go-to exercise for many people thanks in part to its simplicity and low impact. Nonetheless, you can still tweak your walking routine and throw in a few high-intensity moves to make it even better.

Ways to Improve Your Walking Routine

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Start by Increasing Your Speed

Walking at a faster pace will boost your heart rate. You can start by alternating between short bursts of high speed walking. Another way is by trying to cover the same distance in less time than you usually do.

Go for Hilly Terrains

Flat, smooth terrains don’t offer much resistance. Instead of taking a walk around your neighborhood why not switch things up and look for a rough trail close to your home. Additionally, you can also choose to take the stairs up or walk up the escalator.

Get Fitting and Comfortable Shoes

Wearing the wrong type of shoe can lead to foot sores, aching calves, or even blisters. When purchasing your walking shoes ensure they fit nicely – not too big or too small. A proper shoe should also have appropriate heel and arch supports.

Don’t Forget to Warm Up and Cool Down

Many people often overlook the need for a proper warm session before working out. Warming up helps stimulate your muscles and ensures your joints are operating in a complete range of motion.

You can do a short stretching routine before starting your walk.  Better yet, start your walk at a slower pace to give your muscles time to warm up.

For the cool down session, you can drop your walking pace a little bit for the last few meters. This will help prevent muscle injuries or muscle soreness.

Rest and Hydrate

Resting gives your muscles time to repair and rebuild. It is essential you get adequate rest, especially after an intense walking session to avoid early burnout and injuries.

Regular hydration is also vital. During your walks, you will sweat excessively, which is totally normal. Ensure you take in fluids to replenish the lost volume. Hydration also helps in speeding up your recovery. It also helps keep muscle issues such as cramps at bay.

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