It’s well known that exercise is important to your physical and mental wellbeing. As the UK heads into a second nationwide lockdown, health chiefs have stressed the importance of exercising during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Walking is moderate to light exercise that most people can cope with. You typically walk every day anyway, so why not make a routine rather than confining yourself to the house.
For those of you that are really motivated and ready to get fit – highly recommended – there is also fitness walking which involves walking at a quicker pace and making your walks more challenging.
Fitness walking inevitably has more benefits than casual walking. For one, it will help you lose weight, firm up your buttocks, loosen your hips, and strengthen your lower back, abdominals and upper body.
Over time, you will also notice an increase in your energy levels, a boost in your mood and better blood circulation. One of the key benefits to regular walking is improved stimulation to your cardiovascular system.
What Does Fitness Walking Involve?
The primary goal of fitness walking is to improve your fitness. The clue is in the name. That means:
- Walking faster
- Walking uphill or steps
- Throw-in swerve balls
The first two points in the above list are simple. Walk faster: we’re talking approximately 15 minutes per mile.
Walking uphill expends more energy, makes you sweat and burns more calories. And in return, you get bigger and balanced leg muscles.
Fitness walking is generally classed as a low impact activity, meaning walking is less likely to cause injury compared to other fitness routines.
It’s therefore fairly safe to throw in a few swerve balls to ramp up your program. The easiest way to do that is to carry a rucksack on your bagged stuffed with weighty items such as bricks and water bottles. You’ll need water.
Alternatively, add some other exercises to your routines such as going top two steps and one back when climbing steps, press-ups, lunges, sit-ups and other exercises you can do without special gym equipment.
Goals For Fitness Walking
For optimum benefits, you should be looking to target 30 minutes of walking – so around two miles. However, if you haven’t exercised in a while, don’t demand too much from your body.
If you start feeling aches and pain or cramps, take a rest for a moment, then turn around and head home. The first few days of your fitness walking program should be learning your limitations.
You may want to transition into fitness walking. Plan a walking route that you think will take about 45-minutes at a normal pace. Try and reduce the time to 30-minutes by picking up the pace for five minutes intervals and slowing down for two – or vice versa, depending on your levels of fitness.
Health experts recommend fitness walking between 3-5 times a week. There’s no better time to start than during lockdown, and no better tool than the Sweatcoin app to count your steps.