Walking To Fitness
Many people pursue walking as a hobby, for exercise, or just relaxation, and in our post-industrial age it is often enjoyed as a form of exercise.
It is generally distinguished from running or jogging in that only one foot at a time leaves contact with the ground making it an
aerobic exercise with low impact to the joints.
An average speed is about 5km/h (3mph), although this depends heavily on factors such as height, weight, age and terrain.
Fitness enthusiast may use a pedometer to count their steps or measure their distance travel in terms of time.
Treadmills are commonly encountered today as a piece of indoor sporting equipment used to allow for the motions of exercise while staying in one place.
The principle of the belt system allows the rate of speed to be fixed with the distanced traveled easily measured.
Working on a treadmill does provide the advantage of being able to workout at home and not outside in inclement weather with a reduced impact as some treadmills offer a sort of shock absorption.
Many users find treadmills boring and lose interest after a period of time with the cost of purchase and electricity to run the treadmill significantly too costly when comparing it to the cost and freedom of exercising outdoors.
Power or Fitness walking is done at a speed at the upper end of the natural range for the stride, typically 4.5 to 5.5 mph.
It is much more than a stroll in the park. By incorporating the muscles of the upper body with an exaggerated arm swing it makes a great aerobic activity burning approximately the same calories as running with much less impact on the joints.
Because more muscles are used it burns calories much quicker than less aggressive strolling while toning muscles in the buttocks, thighs, hips, shoulders, upper back and abs.
Unlike race-walking; there are no official definition or rules. If you exercise at a purposeful fitness pace using good technique you are a fitness walker
Beginning a Fitness Program
First of all, start out slow and easy while gradually building your pace and distance. If you are just a beginner start with just 10 minutes a day, every day for a week. If this was easy, add 5 more minutes each week until you get to a total time of 25 minutes.
WATCH your posture. Stand tall holding your head up and eyes forward. Your shoulders should be down and relaxed. Tighten your abdominal muscles and buttocks and fall into a natural stride.
Be sure to drink plenty of water before, during, and after exercising. Incorporate a warm up, cool down and
into your routine.
Start at a slow pace, stop and do a few warm up/flexibility drills. Then begin for the desired length of time ending with the slower cool down pace and stretch to finish your routine.
- For general health: exercise 30 minutes a day, most days of the week, at a talking pace. (Talking pace means you have elevated breathing, but can still carry a conversation.)
- For cardiovascular fitness: walk 3 to 4 days a week, 20 to 30 minutes at a very fast pace. (Breathing hard but not gasping for air.)
- For weight loss: exercise a minimum of five days a week, 45 to 60 minutes at a brisk pace.
Walking can be an excellent aerobic conditioning exercise while still being pleasurable and easy on the body parts. Remember: if this type of exercise, or any other exercise, is new to you start off slow with short sessions and build your way up gradually. If you have any health concerns or medical conditions be sure to check with your doctor for advice before you begin a routine.
Discover more benefits such as stronger joints, stress reduction,
lower blood pressure,
stronger joints, stress reduction, look younger, feel alive, and make new friends at Healthy Benefits of Walking.
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