And It Does NOT Need To Cost You An Arm And A Leg!
We all know that healthy living leads to a longer more productive life. And who doesn’t want to be mobile and able to continue to go about the daily activities that they enjoy and are used to doing?
Some look at joining various types of exercise classes, some get a gym membership. Which is great if that fits your needs and, you can afford the monthly fees’ then go for it. But you can still be healthy with a small investment in ordinary gear that can help you move from a sedentary state to one that is more active and gets your heart pumping and your arms and legs moving as well.
Yes, we are talking about walking. It’s something most of us have been doing since the age of two! Remember, every time you take a step, you're carrying your bodyweight around with you. So when you walk the medical term is weight-bearing exercise. You get so many benefits from just getting out there and walking. But you need to walk at a good pace, and you actually receive more benefits from briskly moving your arms as you walk as well. Walking will increase your cardiovascular and pulmonary (heart and lung) fitness while reducing your risk of getting heart disease and –or a stroke. Walking every day can also help with the management of conditions such as hypertension (high blood pressure), high cholesterol, joint and muscular pain or stiffness, and diabetes. Now, does that sound like walking the path to a healthier you as you get older? And don’t forget, with you walking every day, your helping to build up stronger bones and increasing your muscle strength and endurance and reducing your body fat, (BMI).
Now, as we said above, you need to commit to walking at least 3 days a week, every day is better. Wearing a pedometer while walking a pedometer measures the number of steps you take. You can use it to measure your movement throughout a day and compare it to other days or to recommended amounts. This may motivate you to move more. The recommended number of steps accumulated per day to achieve health benefits is 10,000 steps or more. One that we think fits the bill to help you track your progress and measure yourself against the goals you need to set for yourself is the Omron HJ-321 Triaxis Pedometer The Omron H J 321, Is a Pedometer that motivates you to take those extra steps toward better health and increased energy. Whether positioned flat, vertically or horizontally, it accurately counts every step. It counts your moderate (i.e., brisk) steps separately from normal walking steps, as well as the distance and time you've traveled, and the calories you've burned doing so. It gives you more information about your overall activity level, as you go about your daily walks and routines.
For most people, there is little difference in the amount of energy used by walking a kilometer or running a kilometer, it’s just that walking takes longer. Plan to cover a set distance each day and monitor how long it takes you to walk this distance. As your fitness improves, you will be able to increase your walking distance and use more energy. Your Omron HJ-321 Triaxis Pedometer is designed to do just that!
Walking fast burns more kilojoules per hour than walking slowly, but this doesn’t mean you have to push yourself until you’re breathless. Instead, pace yourself so that you can still talk comfortably at the pace you’re doing. This simple rule of thumb means that you walk safely within your target heart rate, which brings about health gains.
But “Our” bodies tend to get used to physical activity, so continue to increase your intensity as you are able to improve your fitness levels. You can increase the intensity of your walks by:
Walking up hills
Walking with hand weights
Increasing your walking speed gradually by including some quick walking
Increasing the distance you walk quickly before returning to a moderate walking pace
And the simple one is to just walk for a longer period of time then you have done the previous 2 weeks, increasing this distance accordingly.
Warming up and cooling down after walking helps you to get the most out of your daily exercise sessions, without causing you to have any injuries.
The best way to warm up is to walk slowly. Start off each walk at a leisurely pace to give your muscles time to warm up, and then pick up the speed. Afterwards, gently stretch your leg muscles, particularly your calves and the front and backs of the thighs. Stretches should be held for about 20 seconds. If you feel any pain, ease off the stretch. Don’t bounce or jolt, or you could overstretch muscle tissue and cause microscopic tears, which lead to muscle stiffness and tenderness.
It’s best to dress lightly when you do physical activity. Dressing too warmly can increase sweating and build up body temperature, which can make you uncomfortable during a walk or possibly cause skin irritations. A gradual cool-down will also prevent muscular stiffness and injury. The key is to build up each session so you can continue to tax your body so it conditions itself and gets used to using these muscle groups.
So, there you have it. The above are just a few reasons why you should be walking. The best ways to begin you’re walking program and how to cool down from them.
Later, we can get into getting the proper footwear to make sure you're getting the right support for your arches.
So what are you waiting for, go get yourself healthy by simply walking out the door!