Did you know that walking is one of the best ways to increase your endurance? It's true! Walking is not only an excellent cardio workout, but it also helps build muscle.
You can power up your fitness routine by adding walking to your exercise regimen. On days when you don't want to do heavy lifting, brisk walking, or power walking at a park near you can still do wonders for your health and well-being.
At MPower Fitness Coaching, we advise clients who are just starting a fitness routine after a long time to start by walking. It's also a good exercise for the elderly or those recovering from an accident or injury.
Regardless of the outdoor activity, you want to try. Walking is easy on joints and bones, which means you'll be able to do more of it without pain. Walking will help ensure that your body will become ready for it eventually.
Walking is a great way to maintain strong muscles and bones, as well as a healthy heart. It's also a great aerobic exercise you can do on any day or night with little equipment.
Power Up Fitness: Walking to build stamina
Walking is a great way to build physical endurance and stamina. People who have been walking for a while know that you can vary your walk – fast, slow – it doesn't matter – just the simple act of putting one foot in front of another helps build strength and improve cardiovascular health.
Even if you're not a big exercise person, walking is a great way to get started. You don't need any equipment, and you can take the activity with you virtually anywhere. And, it's such an easy thing to incorporate into your day that all it takes is just setting aside some time in your schedule every day or every other day to do it.
The biggest challenge when planning a walking workout is to choose the proper route. For this workout, it's best if you can find a route that has a variety of terrain – something that will put a little stress on your muscles and joints as you try to stabilize yourself as you walk up and down hills or steps.
If there are no suitable walking paths or trails near you, consider walking in your neighborhood. It's fun to explore the different streets and neighborhoods if you've never walked them before. If it's not possible to walk outdoors, consider walking indoors on a treadmill or on a rubberized track.
You can also walk on a treadmill as part of your fitness routine when working out with us at MPower Fitness Coaching. It's a good warm-up, cool down, or part of interval training.
As you walk, your muscles are required to work harder because of the change in terrain. As you increase the intensity, your body needs more oxygen, and this is where cardiovascular fitness comes into play.
The nice thing about using walking as a form of exercise is that if you feel yourself getting tired or out of breath, all you have to do is slow down and take a rest. The great thing about walking is that it's such an easy activity to do that this kind of lower-intensity workout allows you to recover from the previous bout of exertion while still moving forward towards your goal.
What's the Proper Form When Walking?
Walking is a simple, everyday activity—until you try to do it with good form. Then, using good walking techniques becomes more of an art than a casual trip around the block. Doing it properly prevents injuries and can help you burn more calories.
The first step to walking smartly is knowing what proper form looks like. You need a quiet place where you can walk uninterrupted for several minutes. A straight line of sidewalk helps, but it's not necessary.
- Maintain a straight posture and look forward. It would be best if you had a neutral chin, not too high or tucked in. Your shoulders should remain relaxed, not hunched.
- Place your feet close to an imaginary line in the middle of the pavement, follow lines on a track.
- Standing upright, feet slightly apart, find your stride length. Lean forward at your ankles (like a ski jumper). Place your right foot out front of you as you transfer your weight forward and catch yourself. At this point, you are stepping on. You should maintain similar stride lengths no matter what type of walking you do (strolling is 3mph; brisk/fitness walking is 4mph; race walking is 5mph).
- A foot should always be on the ground at all times. In the heel strike, the ball of your foot rolls onto the ground, followed by a powerful push from your toes (trailing foot)—stride faster instead of longer. Focus on smoothing out the movement instead of slapping the ground with your feet.
- You can walk while exercising your entire body with arm swings. It increases your calorie burning by about 5-10 percent. As you swing your arms, bend them at the elbows and keep them in step with your feet. Your hands should be just below chin level. Keeping your stride forward requires brushing your forearms against your hips.
The next time you're looking for a change in your exercise routine, give this simple but effective activity a try. Even just 15 minutes of walking can help increase endurance by making the heart more potent and more efficient at distributing blood to muscles.
Give us a call at MPower Fitness Coaching if you want someone to help you get started on a fitness routine.
We have professional trainers ready to help make fitness achievable with our comprehensive programs that include nutritional, health, and wellness coaching; personal training.