WALKING - THE BEST EXERCISE EVER
"Walking is man's best medicine."It’s a gentle, low-impact form of exercise that’s easy, free and suitable for people of all ages and most abilities.There's a wealth of research to prove that walking is good for you and the results are impressive: major reductions in both diabetes and heart disease, decreases in high blood pressure, increases in bone density, and more all follow regular walking exercise.
Walking is a basic movement we use every day, but it can require discipline to walk enough to gain health benefits. It's recommended that individuals take at least 10,000 steps each day for exercise, which can be easily measured by a pedometer.
BENEFITS OF WALKING:
Physical activity doesn't need to be complicated. Something as simple as a daily brisk walk can help you live a healthier life. Walking is known to melt your thighs and perk up your bum. But its healthy resume boasts some even more impressive accomplishments, from cash savings to increasing the odds of survival for breast cancer patients. Regular brisk walking can help you:
· Maintain a healthy weight
· It tones the whole body
· It lowers disease risk
· Prevent or manage various conditions, including heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes
· Strengthen your bones
· It can help prevent dementia
· Lift your mood
· Improve your balance and coordination
· It boosts our vitamin D levels
· It increases our energy levels
· The faster, farther and more frequently you walk, the greater the benefits.
PROPER WALKING TECHNIQUE:
Turning your normal walk into a fitness stride requires good posture and purposeful movements. Ideally, here's how you'll look when you're walking:
· Your head is up. You're looking forward, not at the ground.
· Your neck, shoulders and back are relaxed, not stiffly upright.
· You're swinging your arms freely with a slight bend in your elbows. A little pumping with your arms is OK.
· Your stomach muscles are slightly tightened and your back is straight, not arched forward or backward.
· You're walking smoothly, rolling your foot from heel to toe.
POINTS TO REMEMBER:
· SHOES:Choose shoes with proper arch support, a firm heel and thick flexible soles to cushion your feet and absorb shock. If you walk outdoors when it's dark, wear bright colors or reflective tape for visibility.
· COURSE:Choose your course carefully. If you'll be walking outdoors, avoid paths with cracked sidewalks, potholes, low-hanging limbs or uneven turf.
· WARM UP: Walk slowly for five to 10 minutes to warm up your muscles and prepare your body for exercise.
· COOL DOWN: At the end of your walk, walk slowly for five to 10 minutes to help your muscles cool down.
· STRETCH: After you cool down, gently stretch your muscles. If you'd rather stretch before you walk, remember to warm up first.