Walking is a great way to improve or maintain your overall health. Just 30 minutes every day can increase cardiovascular fitness, strengthen bones, and boost muscle power and endurance. It can also reduce your risk of developing conditions such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis and some cancers. Unlike some other forms of exercise, walking is free and doesn’t require any special equipment or training.
BENEFITS OF WALKING
Mental Benefits - Exercise releases endorphins, otherwise known as “feel-good” chemicals or even the induced “runner’s high”. Because exercise helps increase endorphins and promotes a positive mood, some use it to reduce feelings of depression or anxiety.
Eases Joint Pain - Walking can help protect the joints, including your knees and hips. That’s because it helps lubricate and strengthen the muscles that support the joints. The more you move now, the more mobile you’ll be later in life.
Reduced Risk of Heart Disease - Walking is a low impact way of increasing cardiovascular fitness as it works out your heart and circulation system. By reducing blood pressure and achieving a regular level, you reduce the risk of heart disease and experiencing a stroke. Most forms of exercise (e.g. running or strength training) will help increase cardiovascular fitness, however walking is a great way to get started and ease yourself into cardio.
Burns Calories - Walking can help you burn calories. Burning calories can help you maintain or lose weight. Your actual calorie burn will depend on several factors, including: Walking speed, Distance covered, Your weight. This leads us to the question, does it help us lose weight?
Building physical activity into your life
If it’s too difficult to walk for 30 minutes at one time, do regular smaller walks and gradually build up to longer sessions. Physical activity built into a daily lifestyle plan is also one of the most effective ways to assist with weight loss and keep weight off once it’s lost.
Some suggestions to build walking into your daily routine include:
Take the stairs instead of the lift (for at least part of the way).
Get off public transport one stop earlier and walk to work or home.
Walk (don’t drive) to the local shops.
Walk the dog (or your neighbour’s dog).
TIPS TO GET YOU WALKING MORE FOR WEIGHT LOSS
Track Your Steps - tracking your steps can be very fun! little self competition. If you track your steps and distance, you’ll feel motivated to reach your goals. Not only will you be able to see how far you’ve walked, but also how close to your 10,000-step goal you are. Modern devices often also monitor heart rate, allowing you to see if and when you are reaching your peak cardiovascular capacity.
ENTER A VIRTUAL CHALLENGE - Any of the I CHALLENGE MYSELF challenges can be completed taking up walking, 5K is around 6250 steps!
Work, Music, Podcast? - Busy Schedule but want to be productive whilst working! Firstly, walking is being very productive but could you ring someone from walk discussing various ideas or topics, do you want to listen to an inspiring product or listen to some of your favourite music?
Family or Friend - (On the phone) Walking with a family or friend, a great way to make it fun and engaging. Have a catch up with a pal while walking and burn calories without even realising.
TIPS TO BURN MORE CALORIES, PROGRESS YOUR WALKING PROMOTING WEIGHT LOSS
Walk Uphill - We have all seen a hill that does not fun to walk up. Well, now it is time to face the challenge and walk up that hill! Walking on an incline, be it up a hill or on a treadmill, means you have to work that little bit harder to maintain pace. Incline walking helps activate your glutes, quadriceps and calves more than on flat ground, increasing muscle strength, as well as calorie burn.
Focus on Form - Form whilst walking? WHAT? I get form for squats and deadlifts but walking? Oh yes! Especially vital for walking on an incline, ensure your posture is good when walking. Keep your shoulders back and stride reasonable. Get the most out of your walk by tightening your abdominal muscles and glutes with each stride to ensure maximal activation. Not only will you build muscle strength and definition by perfecting your posture, you will also be preventing injury or strain.
Increase That Tempo - studies have shown that your burn more calories the higher intensity you workout! A gentle stroll is unlikely to get your heart racing – increase the intensity by increasing the pace.
WALKING CHALLENGE TO LOSE WEIGHT AND KEEP FIT
If you’re looking to take part in an enjoyable walking challenge, then look no further than I CHALLENGE MYSELF provide challenges. Enabling people of all ages and abilities to participate.
If you are interested in entering a walking challenge, you can enter here
REPEAT AFTER ME, I CHALLENGE MYSELF TO ''ENTER A CHALLENGE'