A walking workout has a number of health benefits. It can also be a boost to your social life – if you join a walking club or team up with friends to engage in a walking program.
A growing body of research reveals that walking is an under-rated form of exercise. Yet even walking 30-minutes a day at a steady pace can help to improve your health and wellbeing.
If you think about it, people often go for a walk to ‘clear their mind’. Walking can be used as a time for reflection. But walking has been shown to improve mental health in other ways as well such as improving cognitive function.
Whilst walking is a light-to-moderate form of exercise, you can take it to another level by adopting a walking workout program. Known as brisk walking, a walking workout is even better for your physical and mental health. It can even help you to train your waist.
Before you start a walking workout program, you need to make sure your body is prepared. In this article, we’ll show you 3 easy, but super-useful tips for amazing results:
1. Warming Up
Stretching is recommended before and after walking. This way you prepare the tissues for movement, you can improve your flexibility and mobility and make your walking more comfortable and fun.
When done prior to your routine stretching helps you prevent the risk of injuries and prepare muscles for activity. But stretching as well requires warming up, so do not stretch cold muscles.
Start with joint rotation, performing slow circular movements both clockwise and counter-clockwise. Do it until the joint seems to move smoothly. Rotate your fingers and knuckles, wrists, elbows, shoulders, neck, waist, hips, legs, knees, ankles, and toes.
It won’t take much of your time, and it will release stress and tension from these parts of your body.
2. Stretch your feet and toes
Toes are small but very significant parts of your body that support all of your weight. You may experience cramps or pain in your toes and feet while or after walking, and stretching is helping your toes to become realigned, relaxed, fresh and flexible.
The big toe is an important component of your balance and you can stretch it in several different ways:
- Rest your big toe on a tennis ball or folded towel(blanket). Leave the ball of the foot on the ground and hold the position for 30 seconds. Then, try to press your toe into the towel 10 times. Lower and lift your heel 10 to 15 times. Switch feet and repeat.
- Sit with your feet flat on the floor. Wrap a towel or belt around your big toe. Pull the towel or belt toward you while pushing against it with your foot. Hold for 5 seconds. Repeat 10 times on each foot.
You may as well stretch all toes by lifting them at the same height from a sitting position. Hold the position for 10 seconds and lower your toes. Repeat 10 times.
A great way to strengthen toes, feet and calves is walking in sand. Whenever you find a possibility to walk barefoot at the beach or sandbox, do it for 5 to 10 minutes.
You can show appreciation to your legs and feet with a massage, either from a professional masseuse or by yourself.
If you decide to do it by yourself, all you need is a chair, a peaceful environment and a few drops of your favourite essential oil:
- Sit comfortably and cross one foot opposite the other thigh. Gently massage in the essential oil, starting from your heel to the tips of your toes.
- Then apply some pressure to the sole of the foot with a clenched fist, rolling the knuckles back and forward. Apply circular movements with the tip of your thumb press into your foot moving up and down. Then press each toe with the forefinger and thumb on either side. Gently pull the toes and move around. Repeat with the opposite foot.
You may intuitively massage gently your calves and thighs moving your hands from feet towards the heart.
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