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Walking

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Walking is an enjoyable way to keep healthy. And, as it requires no equipment or expense, it is the perfect way to get more exercise. More importantly, it can be built into your everyday routine, so you can be exercising without even knowing it! Walking two miles per day can reduce the risk of heart attack by 28 per cent.
Walking has been shown to benefit health by:   

  • Reducing the risk of coronary heart disease and strokes
  • helping to reduce body fat
  • lowering blood pressure and high cholesterol levels
  • increasing bone density, which helps to prevent osteoporosis.

Family walkingA walking is the easiest and cheapest way to keep active. All you need are comfortable clothes and footwear. It is a good idea to layer loose clothing, keeping in mind that brisk walking can make the body warmer. Shoes specifically designed for walking are recommended, however most footwear is suitable for a 20-30mins walks.

It is important that every walk starts with a brief a warm-up that allows the muscles and body to be prepared for exercise. The first 5 minutes of a walk should be focused on steadily increasing the pace so that you increase your heart rate, breath a little bit harder and make the body warmer. If you are new to walking i.e. more than 5mins, you may need to begin gradually build up your fitness by gradually increasing your distance over time. The following tips might be help

  • Walk short distances—Begin with a five-minute stroll and gradually increase your distance.
  • Speed should not be the focus—Walk at a comfortable pace. Focus on good posture, keeping your head lifted and shoulders relaxed
  • Be aware of your posture — Keep upright, shoulders back and swing your arms.Breathe normally and pull your tummy in
  • Talk and Walk – if you can’t hold a conversation whilst walking then you are walking too fast
  • Walking is one fitness activity that allows you numerous options. Once you have reached a point where you can walk a few miles with relative ease, you can start to vary the intensity.
  • Walking hills, in addition to increasing your cardiovascular endurance, is a great way to tone the legs. Concentrate on lengthening your stride or increasing your speed. And don’t forget to reward yourself after each workout with a few minutes of relaxing stretches to help prevent sore muscles.

Walking can play a major role in enabling you to meet the recommended physical activity guidelines of 5 x 30mins per week due to the ease at which walking can be built into our lifestyles. Remember that you can break down your walking into blocks of 10mins. Below are some simple tips to help you walk more:

  • Get off the bus one stop earlier and you will burn up to 6 calories for each minute that you walk.
  • Using the stairs instead of the lift burns 10 calories per minute and tones all the leg muscles.
  • When using car parks always park the furthest away from where you need to get to.
  • Don’t send an internal e-mail to a person sat 10 metres away – walk over instead.