Walking to Fitness

Exercise can sometimes seem like a chore to many people. People who have busy lives and moving from task to task during the day end up at the end of the day too tired to exercise. However, one of the best exercises that people can do is merely take a walk. Walking can be a routine that can be established easily for most.

Walking has many benefits, especially if you walk at a quick pace. Some of the benefits may include maintaining a healthy weight and strengthening your bones, and increasing your strength and endurance. The more you walk, the greater the benefits you will realize. There are ways to make a walk into a fitness stride by being conscious of maintaining a good posture and walking with a plan in mind.

If you’re not walking now, start by walking 3 times a week at a steady pace for about 20-30 minutes. Build up to 5 times a week for 30 minutes or more each session. There is no right time for you to walk on a daily basis; rather the time to walk is what works for you. Morning people may want to start their day off with a brisk walk around their neighborhood while others may opt for an after dinner walk, which can also help with digestion.

Start tomorrow with a short walk and take short strides at a quick but comfortable pace. You should be able to feel your glutes working and yet not be short of breath. Try different stride lengths to see what feels natural to you. Pay attention to how your feet hit the ground. It is usually normal for your heel to hit first, even if you are barefoot. Then as your body moves forward, your foot should naturally roll forward from heel to toes. Some barefoot walkers might walk with a more midfoot strike and roll forward. You should use the foot strike that is most efficient for you. Check your posture from time to time, keeping erect and using your core muscles to maintain your balance.

As you finish your first day of your new daily walk routine, get a large glass of water to hydrate and pat yourself on the back. You have started an exercise plan that you can easily maintain. You might want to find a partner to join you in your walk but even on your own, a daily walk will invigorate you.

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