Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Day 2954 - Wellness Wednesday - Why walking works

You don't have to run to get fit and lose weight. 
Walking works too!


As you know I am not a runner.  But I am a big walker.  Walking is my preferred exercise. 

I was starting to think that perhaps the walking wasn't doing for me what it used to.  I was wondering if my body was so used to it that perhaps there were no benefits anymore.  So I investigated. 



Walking has a number of benefits such as:


  • It gives us energy
  • It boosts our mood by releasing those feel good hormones
  • It signals that it's time to stop eating which means it's a great activity right after lunch or dinner
  • It helps us sleep better (particularly if we schedule our walks for the morning)
  • It can stop us craving sweet treats because of that whole "giving you energy" and "releasing good hormones" thing
  • It builds muscle and helps to tone
  • It helps with our brain health, memory, longevity, heart, bones, weight and general well being.

According to Prevention Magazine October/November 2017 if we feel as though the walking isn't quite having the same impact it used to, we can supercharge our walks for higher impact.  

To lose weight and get fitter via walking we can try the following:

  • We can try interval training when walking by adding a few minutes of brisk walking, adding some high knees (to waist level) and walking mountain climbers (bringing your right elbow across to your raised left knee, then repeat on the other side).
  • Walk on an upward angle such as stairs to add resistance which challenges the hamstrings, glutes and calves.  Use the stairs for more intervals such as going up and down at a faster pace and working the arms in a jogging motion.  The incline boosts kilojoule burn by 60%. We can apply this to treadmill walking as well simply by increasing the incline in intervals.  

 We can also firm our belly as we walk:
  • By moving our arms at a faster rate we engage the core 
  • By walking on an incline we are burning more fat because apparently one of the first places that fat burns is in the stomach region
  • By throwing in a few punches as we walk we're helping out abs.  Look up the correct technique for boxing jabs to truly get the benefits. 

According to my reading, walking is still a very good way to keep fit, stay healthy and lose weight.  Sometimes we've just got to mix it up a little.  So if you see me walking around the lake with my knees in the air throwing punches, I'm not going mad - I'm just "maddly going"! 

That was such a bad pun.  


Do you walk?

Will you be injecting some of these techniques into your walking schedule?

Any other walking tips you can add? 

2 comments :

  1. I try to walk every week day, usually about 2 or 3 kms. Can't say I've lost any weight over the last couple of months since I've started - a kilogram maybe - but at least I'm not gaining anymore and I feel better for it!

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