Regular and long walks prolong life and help gain energy, lose weight, achieve better health, and have a positive mood.
As Hippocrates said: “Walking is man’s best medicine.”
Walking as a method to promote health and wellbeing, especially after recovering from surgery, or if you are otherwise immobilised, is often prescribed by GPs because there is a minimal risk of injury and a minimal load on the cardiovascular system.
Subsequently, walking is an excellent entry-level exercise for individuals that are obese or haven’t exercised in a while. Ease yourself into an active program.
If you plan to incorporate this safe, gentle and simple activity into your routine, we are here to help you with the following 10 walking tips:
#1 Start With 20-min Walking Per Day
If you are a beginner in this activity, start with a 20-minute walk a day, then increase that interval to half an hour in a week, while in the third week it would be great to get up to 45 minutes to an hour.
It is even recommended that you introduce a walk to your daily routine twice. Of course, it would be best if it was daily, but if you can’t- then try not to miss the days of the week with this activity.
Scientists have determined that two and a half hours a week spent walking, ie 21 minutes a day, reduce the possibility of cardiovascular diseases by 31 percent, and by a percentage more than premature death.
#2 Choose Mornings
It is not recommended to walk in the late evening or before bed, because that is when the metabolism naturally slows down, calms down, and prepares for sleep. Therefore, increased production of adrenaline in the body due to walking is definitely not necessary before bedtime.
Anyone who walks in the morning will confirm that it is a great way to start the day. Whether you go to work or stay at home after that, waking up early and starting the day with a morning walk will surely supply you with energy and cheer you up to start the day. So, instead of jumping out of bed and rushing to work, start a new day with an easy morning walk to work.
The best time to plan for the day ahead is when your mind is “clean” and when you feel good physically. A morning walk will allow you to do that, as well as make it easier for you to function during the day. It gives you time to be alone with your thoughts before the chaos is yet to come.
#3 Walk After The Meal
We said that morning walking is better than walking very late, but what happens when we walk after meals? The muscles we use for walking use glucose for energy and thus ‘extract’ it from the circulation and reduce the amount of glucose that remains in the blood. So the best thing you can do after eating is to get up from the table and put your body in motion.
It has been found that walking after meals is much more effective than walking before meals when it comes to maintaining healthy blood sugar levels. Further research has also shown that walking speeds up the time it takes for food from the stomach to reach the small intestine, which can prolong the feeling of fullness after a meal.
There is also evidence linking this form of faster digestion with less heartburn and other reflux symptoms.
#4 Set Yourself A Goal That You Can Achieve For Today
Don’t worry if you can’t reach 150 minutes of walking a week yet – everyone needs to start somewhere. Even if you have led a sedentary lifestyle for years, today is the day when you can start making healthy changes in your life.
Don’t keep the “all or nothing” system away from what you can do every day. Any amount of movement is better than none. And you can certainly break it down into short sequences of activities throughout the day. A brisk walk for five or ten minutes several times a day will come in handy.
#5 Take Care Of Your Posture
With good posture, you will be able to breathe easier and avoid back pain. A great walking position will also make it easier to walk further and walk faster. Do not lean forward or lean back. Climbing puts strain on your back muscles while walking, and you should avoid leaning except when you are on a hill. Keep your eyes forward, not looking down. Instead, your focus should be about 20 meters in front of you. This way you will be able to see your path and everything that comes your way. Keeping the chin up reduces tension in the neck and back. If you walk with your chin down, don’t work your neck. This will also allow you to look forward more than 20 meters, and not down at the feet. The neck, shoulders, and back should be relaxed but try to tighten your stomach muscles.
#6 Dress Appropriately
Wear functional, comfortable, loose-fitting clothing. Avoid clothes made of cotton and choose materials that dry quickly instead. Clothing should protect, not create body heat, and the basic rule is multi-layered so that you can become more comfortable when needed.
Comfortable walking shoes are a must since your feet are very important and suffer the most during the walk.
#7 Make The Walk Fun
To motivate yourself, think about different routes for walking to avoid monotony. Invite a friend or a family member to join you. People are more likely to adhere to some activity or exercise program if they do so in society. Play your favourite music or listen to the audiobook or a podcast. You may even learn a new language while exercising.
#8 Listen To Your Body
Listen to your body well – it signals to you even before something becomes a problem. Reduce the chances of injuries by always practising stretching before, during, and after walking and by properly treating even the smallest injury you sustain.
#9 Warm Up and Stretch
Walk slowly for 5 to 10 minutes to warm up your muscles. At the end of the walk, walk slowly for 5 to 10 minutes to relax the muscles. After relaxing, gently stretch the muscles.
#10 Document your progress
If you record your progress, you’re more likely to see your walking program through. You can keep a journal of your walks, describing what you saw and where you have been. And don’t forget to make a note of the number of steps you take. We’ve got you covered for that. All you have to do is download the sweatcoin app, sync it with your phone and the built-in pedometer does the rest.