A to Z of Walking For Fitness

Waling is one of the best exercises I have come across. It rejuvenates, refreshes and brings a sense of euphoria along with other physical benefits that come with any kind of exercise. all one needs is a good pair of shoes, an open area and a song on the lips.

Walking is an effective, low-impact activity, which is easy on the feet, knees and ankles. this is especially true for people who have joint problems. It is one of the few exercises that a person can continue up to a ripe old age without experiencing any adverse kind of effects.

There are no right and wrong ways of walking. If you are looking for health and fitness, keep pounding the pavements every day of the week for at least 30 minutes. The only factor against walking is the fact that it takes a long- long time for any kind of visible effect. If you are looking for a quick loss of weight, forget walking and tale to some other form of aggressive exercising. But if keeping yourself in a fit form is your goal, welcome to the world of walkers.

For a good aerobic workout, walk tall with your chest out and look straight directing all the motion forward. The arms should be bent at the waist level and not clenched into a tight fist. It should be loosely cupped. The movement of the arms should be to the side of the body, back and fourth, and not side to side across the chest. The legs should move in parallel lines. The body should be relaxed and the stride should be neither too long nor too short but that comes naturally. No effort should be made to increase or decrease the stride.

Walking can be for different purpose, depending on the speed, purpose and technique. A stroll or leisure walking is slow walking, but at this level it can serve as useful exercise if done for a long time. Fitness walking is at a slightly faster speed and the body begins to sweat. Fitness walking should not be interrupted or halted but should be continuous. Hiking is walking for pleasure and sight seeing. Speed depends on the type of terrain, fitness levels and the weight being carried. Race walking is a sport and governed by a set of rules, which are not discussed here.

Walking can start any time, but not so with running. Jogging or slow running should be combined with walking to start with. Gradually the time devoted to walking should be gradually reduced. Cramps affect the body if one starts running after a long gap or without doing the warming up exercises. Cramps go away as naturally as they come, and if they do not, they are a cause for concen and a doctor should be consulted.

Most people take an upward jump while running, this has to change and a forwards push is required to be taken.

Benefits of walking

  • Walking improves circulation- brisk walking works that hear and speeds up blood circulation along with an increase oxygen intake. Brisk walking affects the human capillary system; this in turn has a chain reaction in revving up the blood circulation and exercising the heart muscles.
  • It clears the mind and has an uplifting effect on mood- a good walk has an uplifting effect on our mood due to the release of endorphins, which are known mood elevators. The increase supply of oxygen that walking brings, clears the brain and males it function better.  
  • It cuts fatigue and reduces backaches- walking makes the muscles loosen up and stretches them, too. This results in more mobility and flexibility, which in turn prevents fatigue from affecting the muscles. It stretches the spine, thus reducing the incidence of lower backache.

Let's Start Walking

Thought you mastered walking at age one? Well, think again. Fitness walking isn't an afternoon stroll. I would say that you need to stride rather than walk, to derive the maximum physical benefit. Striding is an easy on track with a cardiovascular workout.

This training programme will start you off and have you charged full-speed ahead in just seven weeks. Remember, take it slow, and be sensitive to your body. don't push yourself on days when your tolerance is low, or if you feel the feet need to rest. drink plenty of water, get lots of sleep, and don't forget to stretch after each walk to keep you in balance.

Walking Schedule

Week 1: This week hit the pavement for 10 minutes on the three days. Watch your form as you walk!.

Week 2: This week notch up your walking programme to 15 minutes on four days. Try the forward bend each day before you head out!

Week 3: This week log in 20 minutes of aerobic walking on your days. For maximum benefits, use a heart rate monitor and aim for your target heart rate(THR)!

Week 4: Crank up your walking routine and extra notch, to 25 minutes and extend it to five days. Buy yourself a new pair of socks to celebrate!

Week 5 ! This week hold the line ate five days, but add another five minutes to your programme. If you're feeling ambitious, work on your upper body on one of your free days!

Week 6: Maintain you five-day, 30-minute programe. Treat yourself to some soothing lotion. Massage your feet, using firm, circular motion, after your walks.

Week 7: Great going, now just keep walking!.

Aerobic Walking

The following program devised by Dr. Kenneth Cooper, is designed for a low level of fitness. It is progressive 16-weeks pregrame that entails taking 5 walks a week,, gradually increasing your time and the distance cover. All you need is a stopwatch, comfortable and loose clothes and sensible low-heeled walking shoes.
Weeks Distance covered in
each of 5 walks
1 1.6 km 15 minutes


1.6 km

1.6 km
2.4 km
2.4 km
2.4 km
3.2 km
3.2 km
3.2 km
3.2 km
4 km
4 km
4.8 km
4.8 km
4.8 km
6.4 km
14 minutes
13 minutes 45 seconds
21 min 30 seconds
21 minutes 30 seconds
21 minutes 30 seconds
28 minutes
27 min 45 seconds
27 min 30 seconds
27 min30 seconds
35 minutes
34 min 30 seconds
42 minutes
42 minutes
42 minutes
56 minutes

Walking basics  Stand straight- Look directly ahead, imagine that a string is attached to the top of your head and is lifting you from the ground. keep you shoulders back and relaxed, chest lifted, and tailbone pointing down to the ground.

Relieve the stress points- relax your shoulders and shake out any tension from your arms and wrists. Bend your arms at the elbow about 83 degrees. wiggle your fingers and then hold your hands in loose balls9 pretend you're clasping a jumbo-size magic marker against your palms).
Swing your arms naturally as you walk, but try not to let your hands extend above your chest.

Keep your steps short and fast

The faster your move, the better your cardiovascular workout. Keep an even stride and maintain a steady pace.

Heel- to-toe-motion- As you walk, your heel should be the first part of your foot to hit the ground. Roll through the ball of the foot and push off with your toes. This motion reduces the risk of shin splints and tendon pulls.


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