Maximizing The Fitness Benefits Of Walking
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Maximizing the Fitness Benefits Of Walking

Walking is a simple but great way to get fit. It won’t cost you and you can walk just about anywhere and anytime. Even if you’re in a busy city, like in Doha, or any other area. Despite its simplicity, you have to do it properly to reap its maximum fitness benefits. Check out the ways to make walking work for you.

Watch your Posture

You should have listened to your mom when she scolded you for bad slouching. Bad posture, like slouching, can result in aches and pains after a walk. On the other hand, good posture can contribute to the development of the muscles on your leg, butt, and even your upper body. It can help you breathe more effectively during the walk, providing your body with a good supply of oxygen.

What’s the correct walking posture? First, stand up straight but relaxed. Do not arch your back, lean forward or back. Chin up and look forward. Don’t look down, this can strain your neck. Also, relax your shoulders. This may take a while to get used to, especially when you’ve been slouching in front of a computer at work. But you’ll get it right with a lot of practice. So practice, practice, practice.

Remember your upper body, too!

More often than not, when people think walking, or running, the first thing which will come to mind is lower body. That’s your feet, legs and thighs. But walking should be a whole body experience, which means your upper body should be in sync with your lower body. Besides correcting your head, neck, shoulders and back, be conscious of how your arms move when walking. Believe it or not, when your arms are in the groove with your legs, you can burn as much as 10 percent of calories during the whole walking activity. Coordination is key.

Here’s how you can keep your arms in harmony with your leg motions. Keep your elbows and a 90-degree angle and close to your body. As you step with your right foot, swing your left arm back. Your hand should not go any higher than your chest. On the other hand, when you step with your left foot, swing your right hand. This creates a balance in motion. Your hands should be partly closed, but not clenched.

Another important aspect of keeping your upper body active during a walk is keep your core engaged. Your lower back and abdominals should be involved throughout the walk. It will help you with posture, exercises the specific body parts and adds to increased calorie-burning.

Watch your step

One of the first things we learn growing up is making a step. But as we grow older we ‘personalize’ how we make steps. When walking, your heel should strike the ground first, then in one fluid motion, it should go from heel to your toe. The step ends when you push off with your toe.

Since people have different gait, or how they walk, it’s best to choose walking shoes which correct gait problems. For instance, Reebok has shoes which correct gait problems. You can check them out at online stores.

Watch your stride

A stride is the length of the step you make. Most people, in their desire to cover more ground, over stride. Over striding can actually hurt your hip and calves. In the long run, you also get tired faster. Also, over striding makes you look like a cartoon villain. Keep a normal stride when you walk. This means don’t step outward too much, just do what you normally do. But keep the rear of your foot longer on the ground to give your step an additional push off.

These techniques may seem strange, even awkward, at first. But once you get the hang of it, you’ll find out that it really can maximize the efficiency of your walk.


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