By Nitin Chhoda
Which is the world’s most common, inexpensive and enjoyable fitness activity?
It is a form of exercise that anyone can do, does not require any investment, special gear or even a fixed time commitment. It can be done anytime, anywhere, and you can do it with friends, while enjoying nature.
Its plain-old walking. All you have to do is to find a good location, put on a pair of shoes, find a friend if you can, grab an MP3 player (if you prefer music) and just do it.
Here’s a suggestion – Set a simple goal. For example, “I will walk for 30-40 minutes, 5 days a week from Monday to Friday.” Make a note of it in your dairy, since writing down goals makes them more achievable. Stick with it. With a few simple variations, walking can become fun and provide a ‘total body workout.
TIPS FOR A PERFECT WALK:
1. Invest in a good pair of shoes, preferably cross trainers.
2. Start with a slow-walking warm-up and pick up the pace as you go. Slow down to cool down as you finish.
3. Drink water after your walk. This will help hydrate the body and replace the fluids lost in sweat.
4. Feel free to sing, whistle, or hum as you walk. This develops breath control. It also monitors the vigor of your workout: If you’re too breathless to maintain a song, then reduce the pace. If you can maintain a long conversation with a friend while you walk, then the intensity or pace of your walk is on the lower side. So speed up slightly.
Points to remember while walking.
To make your walk a little more exciting, try the following variations on occasions. You can add movements, stretches and resistance.
1. Quicksteps. Take short, brisk steps, advancing only inches per step; or march in place.
2. Right-left-back. Step sideways 1-2 paces to the left, then to the right. An occasional backward walk works to engage the opposing muscles, and aid in flexibility and fluidity.
1. Overheads -Extend the arms above head while walking. Maintain the stretch for 5 to 10 paces, then relax and repeat.
2. Long strides – Maintaining a slow pace, stretch the legs as far ahead as you can and take long, slow giant steps to firm the calves, thighs, and hamstrings. .
1. Imagine you are pushing a wall with both hands, while walking for 4-5 steps. Push two walls as they close in on both sides, for the next 4-5 steps.
2. Clench the hands for 3-4 steps, slowly unclench them for the next 3-4 steps.
Don’t be concerned that all of this will look funny when you actually implement it in the park, then think about it this way – If you do it right, then you could set a trend for those around you. Try these techniques and you could become a trendsetter for other walkers / joggers in your area!
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