Walking is unarguably one of the best ways of boosting or maintaining your overall health. Just by walking for 30 minutes daily, you can reduce excess body fat, boost your cardiovascular fitness, improve muscle power and endurance, strengthen bones, and improve your mood. By walking regularly, you can keep deadly diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and even some types of cancers at bay. The best thing about walking is that you do not need any special type of equipment or training and it is completely free. With walking, you can forget about the worries associated with some other types of vigorous exercise because walking is low impact hence ideal for the elderly, overweight or those who are exercising after a long time. If an ordinary brisk walk seems too mundane to you, here are some methods of adding more punch to it:
Swing Your Arms Vigorously
When you walk, your arms swing naturally, however, if you want to exert yourself a little more, it can help to swing your arms more vigorously. Apart from giving you more impetus, swinging your arms actively will get the blood pumping more and also activate more of the muscles. For the best benefits, it is important to keep the arms at 90 degrees. Make sure you are wearing the right pair of walking shoes so that you can walk faster and burn more calories.
Adopt the Fartlek-Style Walk
Rather than walking at the same pace for the entire duration of your walk, you can choose and switch between different speeds, fast, medium, and slow randomly so that your body is unable to guess and prepare it. Switching between different walking speeds also gives the body adequate time to recover and you will be able to walk for a longer time than if you had tried to walk at a fast pace for the whole duration. The result is that you will be able to burn more calories, which is the main objective. By changing your walking style to engage the glutes and the hamstring more, you can burn more calories.
Track Your Walking Effort
Buy yourself a smart wearable device that can monitor your walking and vital body parameters. According to https://www.forbes.com, the data captured by these devices now extends beyond the distance covered, to include sleep patterns, heart rate, inactivity alarms, and even ECGs. By monitoring these parameters, you will be in a position to increase them all gradually so that you get more benefits. A LibertyLending.com credit officer observes that people who are careful of their physical health also tend to be equally careful about their financial health.
Test Your Body with Lunges
When you are walking, you can try to lunge now and then so that you can put more stress on your hamstrings, quads, and firm up your glutes. If you are not suffering from any knee issues, you can try an occasional jump to increase the demand on the body, tone your muscles faster, and burn more calories.
Incorporate an Incline into Your Route
Walking up inclines that are more than 2.5 degrees requires you to consume a lot more oxygen and equals to fuel burned. When you say hello to hills, you automatically bid farewell to the calories. If you were thinking that you would be burning more calories by jogging, you will be surprised to learn that by walking briskly at 4.7 miles per hour, you burn the same number of calories as by jogging.
Walk with Added Weights
Adding extra weight to your body when going out for a walk can help you to burn more calories due to the more effort that is required. The ideal way is to carry a backpack, which you can fill up with some stuff to increase its weight. Choose a model that has both the chest and waist straps as then you can wear it snugly to prevent it from bouncing around when you walk. Backpacks are better than over-the-shoulder bags as they can strain your spine. To make things more of an effort, you can try out the farmer carry method of carrying weights when walking. This comprises bending down and lifting weights with both your hands and then carrying them with a straight back as if you were carrying grocery bags home. Much harder than simply lugging around a weighted backpack, it has undeniable benefits of a good cardio exercise and also serves to improve your grip, which is proven to have a strong correlation with the health of your heart.
Make Your Walking Schedule Inflexible
It is very easy to keep on putting off your daily walks on some pretext or the other; however, you need to know that you cannot squeeze in more time into a day so there is nothing else to do apart from making the time for your walks. The best way of making your walks non-negotiable is to add it to your daily calendar as a compulsory item and then add other activities that you need to take up. Perhaps the best method of not having your walking sessions derailed due to work or family commitments is to do it the first thing in the morning after waking up. Not only are you more likely to be able to stick to this schedule but also you have the benefit of taking in the fresh air and avoiding the crowds, which in itself is a luxury worth enjoying to the fullest. You will find the stress levels dropping and feel fresh and invigorated to face whatever the day has in store for you.
Considering that so many people have deadly health issues like heart problems, high blood pressure, stress, etc. it seems a real pity that they are not taking up walking. Walking briskly for just half an hour daily for five days a week as been proven to work wonders for your health and happiness. As everyone who has been walking will confirm, it is one of the most flexible activities you can take up to keep yourself fit, both physically and emotionally.