For good cardio, the immediate thing that springs to mind is jogging around the block or jumping on the rowing machine for 30 minutes. Not everyone enjoys running for a variety of different reasons, including fitness itself and the strain on the back and joints.
A great alternative, not practised by enough people is in fact walking. Incorporating a walking routine into your working week could contribute towards numerous health benefits, whilst giving you a perfect chance to get out and take in some fresh air – It’s time to walk yourself fit people!
The following walking beginners guide is provided to you by the Healthy Hideout:
- Why should I walk? – It’s a great alternative to running first and foremost. According to the Walking Organisation (UK), walking offers various aerobic benefits when walking at a constant pace of around 4mph. It’s also a lot less stressing on the back and joints. Remember it’s free too – Anyone can do it, and there’s no limit to how many people can do it together.
- Is walking for you? – As mentioned above, walking is a low-impact, low intensity exercise designed to help restore balance and energy. It helps to build endurance and stamina whilst giving you a chance to get out of the house. Even a well paced 10-minute walk around the park can help to improve fitness.
- Your heart will thank you – Walking gets the heart pumping faster which helps to strength the muscle. This helps to lower your overall blood pressure, reducing the risk of coronary disease and strokes.
- Good for the legs – When compared with running, walking works to build all the muscles in the leg – not just the calves and thighs. As there is no “strike” motion with walking, the stress on the joints and knees is drastically reduced. With walking you may “strike” with 1 – 1.5 times your own body weight, unlike running which can be 3 – 4 times your own body weight.
- It’s a think tank – An unbeatable combination of natural light combined with physical outdoor exercise helps to release “feel-good” chemicals into the blood stream. Whether you walk in a city park or head out to the country side, walking will help clear your mind and sleep better too.
- Calorie crusher – Fitness walking or “speed walking” as it’s commonly known will burn approximately 200 calories every 30 minutes. To help put this into perspective, this applies to a 65kg person walking at around 4 mph.
- Great physical benefits – According to the World Health Organisation, “A walker loses weight, lowers cholestoreol and reduces conditions associated with hypertension. Walking can help with slowing the ageing process, maintaining physical balance and flexibility and increasing stamina” – You can’t really argue with these benefits?
- Strengthen your bones – As walking is classed as a weight bearing exercise, it will help to develop bone strength, whilst helping against the development of osteoporosis.