Walking, as a way to improve your health and trim your waistline, requires the use of a good exercise technique – Specifically, a good walking technique involves:
1. Using good form; let’s start with your head and work our way do.
2. Looking forward and not down with your eyes when walking; this way your neck, shoulders and back all stay in a straight vertical straight line with your head.
3. Giving some rhythm to your walk by naturally swinging your arms; to get even more benefit out of your walk and to burn more calories, use light hand weights and “work” your arms in a back-and-forth pumping motion.
4. Tightening your abdominal core when walking. A strong core gives your body good posture and helps keep head, neck, shoulders and back in alignment.
5. Making sure as you take steps forward, your foot contacts the ground on the outside of your heel first and as your step progresses, your weight should shift inside to your arch and then shift back to the ball of your foot and finally to your toes where you push off for your next step.
But you should also bear in mind these three walking technique tips if you’re going to get the most from your walking workouts…
Walking Technique Tip 1 – Exercise (Almost) Daily
The United States Department of Health and Human Services recommends moderate exercise at least 2 1/2 hours each week to stay healthy. For most of us, this can be broken down into 30-minute increments of walking five days per week, interspersed with one day of strength training and resting on the seventh day, to round out your weekly healthy walking plan.
Walking Technique Tip 2 – Set Realistic Goals
If you are extremely out of shape and have not exercised for a while, start slow. Once cleared by your doctor to exercise, try walking five minutes per day for the first week. Increase this amount by five minutes each week. After 6 weeks, you will be walking 30 minutes per day.
If you can’t find a 30-minute chunk of time to walk, you get the same benefit by walking twice a day for 15 minutes each time or even three 10-minute daily walks.
Walking Technique Tip 3 – Track Your Progress
Tracking your progress is the part that gives you the motivation to stick to your healthy walking plan. Today, there are several electronic “tools” on the market to make tracking easy. Invest in a good pedometer or accelerometer to keep track of how many steps you walk each day. Your goal, between walking and other steps you take each day, should add up to 10,000 per day.
Benefits of Using the Correct Walking Technique
Besides losing weight and getting healthier, following a walking plan can lift your mood, improve coordination, strengthen bones, and even prevent or negate the effects of various illnesses, such as heart disease, high blood pressure and Type 2 diabetes.
To make walking even easier, enlist a friend or family member to walk with you. Both of you will reap the benefits of walking when consistently using a healthy walking technique.
If you’d like to get more out of your walking for fitness plan, check out the “Guide to Setting Your Walking Fitness Goals” for more in depth knowledge on the subject of walking for fitness. While you’re there, be sure to sign up for the free MyFitnessNut.com Newsletter to be kept up to date on the latest health and fitness topics.