You’ve been walking since you were about one year old. So with decades of walking under your belt, you probably assume you know how to do it correctly. But if you’re walking for exercise, walking is more than just getting around. The right practices can protect your joints, help you burn more calories, and allow you to get the most out of your workouts.
It might surprise you to hear that there is still more to learn about walking! But it’s true. If you’re walking for fitness, keep these four tips in mind next time you lace up your shoes.
Build a strong core. In order to maintain proper form and balance, you need strong core muscles. Perform a few simple core strengthening moves, such as planks, before each workout. Then, focus on your core while walking. Keep it tensed and direct all movements from your core outward.
Your back leg should do the work. True fitness walking is about more than simply strolling around your neighborhood. If you want to build speed and endurance, you should be pushing off of your back foot with each step. Walking this way will also tone your glutes and calves, so you earn beautiful legs.
Use your arms. Bend your arms at a 90-degree angle, and hold them like a runner does. Doing this gives you more power to walk at a faster pace. And, if you add light wrist weights, you can work on toning your arms at the same time. But do keep the weights light – only a pound – to avoid adding strain to your joints.
Alternate your pace. Adding bursts of speed will boost your heart rate, getting you into that prime calorie-burning zone. Over time you can add longer and longer speed bursts, until you’re working out at a more strenuous level continuously. You’ll burn more calories but also protect your heart health.
Did any of these tips surprise you? To learn more about a healthy workout routine that helps you lose weight and meet other health goals, call us to schedule an appointment. We can help you put together a program that fights disease, keeps your weight in check, and helps you stay healthy and happy in your body.