The Joy of Walking
The Joy of Walking
One of the easiest exercise programs is to start walking more. Whether you’re looking for a simple aerobic workout, a low-stress approach to weight loss or a simple toning program, we recommend the simple act of walking.
Walking doesn’t require expensive club memberships or special equipment.
How to get the most from walking:
- Assume the correct posture. Look forward with your chin level and head up. Your eyes should focus on the street or track 10 – 20 feet ahead. You’ll avoid doggy doo-doo, find cracks in the sidewalk, spot potential muggers and still collect the occasional coin.
- Take quick, short steps. Resist the temptation to lengthen your stride to go faster. Push off with your toes, using the natural spring of your calf muscles to propel you. Think of yourself as showing the bottom of your shoes as you take each step.
- Bend your arms at 90-degree angles. This turns your arms into a shorter pendulum so they can swing faster as your steps speed up.
- Dress properly. To prevent becoming a hood ornament, wear a mesh reflective safety vest from a local biking or running shop. Dress in layers. The inner layer should be of a fabric (not cotton) that can whisk the sweat away from your body.
- Wear the right shoes. You want more flex than a hiking shoe and more support than an athletic shoe. A simple test: push down on the toe and the heel should rise. Push the heel down and the toe should come up.
How much walking is enough?
It depends on your goals. To maintain your health with regular physical activity, walk about 30 minutes a day most days of the week at a “talking” pace. (Not so fast that you couldn’t have a conversation at the same time.)
If your intent is weight loss, walk 45-60 minutes/day at a “purposeful/talking” pace. If your desire is an aerobic workout and cardiovascular fitness, walk three to four days a week for about 20 minutes at a very fast pace, breathing hard but not gasping.
And before starting your walking program, stop by our office for a chiropractic checkup! Make sure your exercise program doesn’t stress malfunctioning joints of your legs, hips and spine.