Walking in my humble opinion is so underrated. It is the type of exercise where one is constantly engaging ‘core’ muscles, if carried out with the correct technique. After all, we stand for hours on end maintaining an upright position and supporting our entire body weight. Want a simple, yet effective way to develop your core? Just start to walk regularly.
As a Personal Trainer, I love the fact that walking can be used as an exercise tool by anyone, at any age and fitness level. It has been found that brisk walking actually reduces the risk of heart disease, more so than running. During a study, conducted in California at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, participants aged between 18 and 80 (over a six-year period) were observed. It was found that walking reduced the risk of heart disease by 9.3%, compared to running which reduced it by 4.5%.
Walking keeps you active
It can also improve your fitness, unlike other exercise modalities, walking can help your heart without the added intensity that other exercise forms bring. A good technique being adopted when walking, is key to developing the core and to staying well within self. Always engage core muscles when walking and be sure to stand up straight, trying not to lean too far forwards or backwards. A ‘top tip’ is not to look at your feet and the way that you are walking. Keep your head up, with your chin parallel to the ground as good spinal alignment is paramount to core activation and strength. When walking just ‘be’ and allow your arms to swing naturally and roll through your foot from heel to toe.
It is recommended that adults exercise for 150 minutes of ‘moderate’ physical activity per week. We can break this down to five sessions of 30 minutes of walking a week, to help one’s fitness and wellbeing. I personally love a brisk walk in the country/green areas near where I live. Walking for me improves my wellbeing, clears my mind, rebalances my energies and helps to ward off any negative energies I may have picked up along my working day. It is well known that walking within nature can reduce depression and raise elf-esteem. So try to get out in the green space/park in your area and just walk, walk, walk!
Here’s your challenge…
Try it for 30 minutes and see how you get on. The time will fly. To motivate all the busy minds out there, the good news is that 30 minutes of brisk walking over five days can help you to sleep better and feel more alert during the day. Give it a go for a week and let me know how you get on. I would love to hear from you all….