Let’s not allow ourselves to ignore walking as a form of exercise. It is our physical exercise heritage from the earliest days of our species. We’ve forgotten about it a bit these days since we don’t walk as nearly as we used to do.
However, walking can be one of the most enjoyable workouts if you give it a chance. It is free of charge, brings numerous health benefits, and furthermore, walking can be fun! So here we present some general ideas of what walking can do for you, how you can implement it into your routine, why you should do it in the first place, and much more.
Without further ado, let’s get down to business.
How to do it?
When we say how we mean how you ought to go about walking. Think in terms of what details you want to keep on your mind. Since walking isn’t the same as taking your dog out for a walk nor like strolling around the square with your friends, we need to point out a couple of things.
The first thing is speed. You will have to pick up the pace a little if you want to turn your walking session into a full-on workout routine. If you don’t rev up the volume of your walking then you simply won’t reap the benefits which you’re after. It won’t do you any harm, but the results won’t be there either.
You want to find a pace that challenges you a little bit. Once you feel you’re actually sweating and that your muscles have engaged this means you found your sweet spot or the so-called “brisk pace”.
The second important thing – tempo. Switching up the tempo every now and then will bring the most out of your walking sessions. Remember, start off slow and with a steady pace. Once you’re all warmed up feel free to experiment with the tempo of your walk. Switch from fast to slow every 5 to 10 minutes or so.
Everyone needs some motivation so let’s name some of the health benefits that walking brings to the table.
- Weight maintenance – walking promotes weight managment. It will gradually cut off excess pounds from your body since that stored energy comes in handy after a few miles of walking.
- Muscle endurance – while running may not be the best hyperthrophy tool out there, it can still throw a punch in terms of muscle development. Moving involves the majority of your muscles and if done sufficiently walking can shape your body wonderfully.
- Cardiovascular health – perhaps the most famous reason why people go for walks is this one. Walking is a cardio exercise and it will raise your heartbeat which will induce more blood running through your vascular system.
- Increase in energy – walking may increase your energy levels, just like any form of exercise. Especially if you have more than one walking session during the day.
- Stress release – walking makes you focus on the task at hand, thus providing relief from a troubled mind. Plenty of people go walking because they find it to be a way of meditation as well.
- Sleep quality – people sleep way better after they tired out not only their mind but their bodies as well.
How to make walking enjoyable?
A struggle for many when it comes to walking is the dullness that sometimes comes along for the ride. Since we can walk for hours and hours without feeling tired or exhausted, walking can become boring after a while. But, there are plenty of ways you can make it fun if need be.
Music moves our souls and fills our thoughts. Bring your headphones with you if you feel like listening to some of your favorite artists. Moreover, you can play an audiobook if that’s what rows your boat.
If you’re more of a sociable type then you can always ask your neighbor, friend, or whoever has the time to join you for a walk. You should be able to have a conversation while having a walking session without any problems.
Lastly, you can always walk to an unknown environment! Go somewhere you haven’t been yet and see if that helps. Discover new grounds while exercising and doing something good for your health.
Some advanced methods
For the zealous ones in need of a challenge, we have a solution too. There are some variables that can be tweaked, such as the terrain, elevation, and equipment.
You can always walk on a track, but if that isn’t proving worthy you may want to try something else. Sand, grass, concrete? Use whatever you can. If you’re near a beach or a forest then don’t be afraid of walking on the terrain common to your surrounding.
Elevation makes a big difference in the world of running and walking. More surface elevation means more muscle work. Uphill, downhill, stairs, all of the above will do the trick if you want a more serious muscle pump.
If you want you can always bring a pair of Nordic poles with you when you walk. They activate your upper body for some additional work and that comes as a nice boost to the difficulty level of your walk or hike.
Features worthy of praise
We are going to summarize this article with some unique perks that walking has to offer. Plenty of things to be added in that regard. Some of which we often take for granted. Let’s see what those are.
There is no age restriction that applies to walking. Everyone who has the ability to walk can freely engage in a walking exercise session, therefore, walking represents the most general health and fitness tool known to us.
The next feature is accessibility. You can go for a walk literally anywhere which means you have at least one useful exercise in your pocket wherever you find yourself. Whether it’s taking a pause during work, vacation, or a supermarket trip, you always have the ability to do it.
Perhaps the coolest perk of walking is that everyone can set their own tempo according to their demands. You don’t have to follow someone else and how they approach walking. Find your own path and design your own walking workout.
Thank you for your time.