Walking can be your favorite exercise too

In addition to assisting in the burning of calories and reducing the risk of long-term health concerns (such as heart disease or obesity), jogging is also gentle on the joints. Getting started is simple.

Walking should earn the gold medal for its excellent array of advantages and low danger. Added to that, it is convenient (no equipment required! Just a few diseases and comorbidities are contraindicated. Are there benefits to everyone if it is an activity that can enable someone in their nineties to keep fit?

With the correct tactics, people of all ages and fitness levels, from beginners to expert athletes, may reap many of the same advantages from walking exercises as they would from running. Walking and running have a lot in common, but there is one major difference. both sports engage the very same muscles and joints, burn more calories and improve the heart & lung system, but they have different impacts, explains Los Angeles-based personal trainer Juliet Kaska, who is ACE and NASM-certified.

According to Kaska, running is a high-impact activity that puts a lot of strain on the joints, ligaments, and muscles. So, walking is an excellent alternative for runners who want to take a day off from running while still getting in anaerobic exercise. Why do people choose to walk rather than take public transportation? As a Los Angeles personal trainer and owner of EverWalk, Bonnie Stoll believes walking takes longer to travel the same distance. After 30 minutes of running, you may burn more calories than after 30 minutes of walking. The major difference is that walking has a lower impact than running.

What does Science say about walking?

A longer life span is one of the benefits. According to research published in May 2018 in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, walking at a pace that leaves you somewhat out of breath or sweating may reduce your risk of heart disease and mortality from all causes. According to another study, brisk walking can reduce your risk of high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes just as much as jogging.

The Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease released research in January 2018 showing a relationship between walking and enhanced cognitive function and decreased dementia and Alzheimer’s disease risk.

(According to studies) Walking has also been found to help diseases such as knee osteoarthritis and low back discomfort (according to other research). Researchers from the University of Washington discovered that walking more steps during the day was associated with better sleep quality in a research published in Sleep Health in October 2019. (and more so for women than for men).

Walking a workout – a story

There is little to no learning curve when it comes to fitness walking, which is a blessing. If you pay attention to your pace and form, it is not difficult to do. You do not have to shatter race-walking records to be fast. Brisk walking is the most effective way to improve fitness, although the amount of “brisk” will depend on your existing fitness level. Stoll recommends a 20-minute mile, to begin with, if you are new to walking for fitness or exercise in general. If not, try moving at a 15-minute-mile speed.

Interested in improving your speed? As you walk, be sure you are employing a heel-toe action. Stoll suggests that someone is following you and that you want to show them what is on the sole of your shoe with each step. Your forward motion should be aided by the roll of your foot. Aim to pump forth and back, not across the body, with your arms at 90-degree angles. Your feet will follow your elbow pump, Stoll explains. If you swing your feet across your torso, though, it may hinder your pace.

Do you know how long it takes you to walk a mile on average? Track your lap times on a quarter-mile track. If you can walk five seconds quicker on a second lap, Stoll recommends that you do it.

Walking for expert

You may get more out of your walks by increasing the intensity. Here are four different methods to go about it! Climb and descend slopes. Try walking on a steep path to help improve strength and endurance. You can also do hill repeats, which include going up and down the same hill numerous times. Just bear in mind a few form recommendations. Kaska suggests leaning forward a bit when walking uphill. Reduce the length of your strides, bend your knees slightly, and reduce your pace when heading downhill.

Intervals are a good thing to do. Work times of high-intensity alternate with rest intervals. For example, you may walk rapidly for a certain length of time, and then slow down your speed. Try walking for two or three minutes at a moderate pace, followed by a one-minute sprint. Alternate one minute of rapid walking with one minute of leisurely walking, if that is easier. Stoll suggests using obvious markers such as mailboxes or trees if using a clock is too burdensome.

Different terrains are available for you to choose from. However, you should attempt to explore different surfaces. “Walking on grass or gravel burns more calories than running on a track,” explains Kaska. Bonus? If you live near a beach, take a walk on the sand to burn more calories.

Nordic walking poles are a great way to get about town. A set of Nordic walking poles can help increase the cardiovascular advantages of walking (because you get your upper body more involved). Without skis, it is like cross-country skiing, Kaska adds.

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