Walking as a Form of Exercise!
Walking, believe it or not, can be a great way to stay active, keep fit, and watch your weight! A casual walk won’t do this, however, it has to be speed walking, or fitness walking. But this is a great activity that keeps your heartrate up, and can be easier on your body than running.
As with all activity, walking comes with risk for injury. It may seem silly that you need to prepare for this as you would any other type of exercise, but it is important.
Starting with some stretches beforehand is a good way to warm up your muscles and prepare them. Dynamic stretches (stretching that occurs with movement) is the best form of stretching before working out. Static stretching (holding a stretch without movement) is good for improving your overall flexibility and is generally better as a post-workout stretch. Click here to learn more about stretching before and after walking, and for great examples on how to stretch!
While walking, it is important to be conscious of what you’re doing, if you want a good workout. Make sure to pump your arms with your legs, as this will help increase your heart rate. Your arms and legs also sync up in rate, so pumping your arms faster will have you walking faster, thus increasing your heart rate more and giving you a better workout. Be sure to gently place your foot on the ground to help maintain a rolling foot posture from landing on the heel to pushing off from the toe. Click here to learn more tips on how to be fully aware while walking and how to make it a full body workout!
Your clothes and footwear are important! Walking is much different than running in regards to biomechanics, so wearing shoes meant for running could cause injury. You also should be aware of the flexibility of the shoe, as being too flexible or too rigid could strain your muscles. Click here to learn more about proper clothing, shoes, walking sticks, and more for walking!
If you want to get back into exercise, walking is a great way to start! But if you have old injuries, or aches and pain, schedule an appointment today with BodyFit Physical Therapy to get you back to your normal self! Schedule an appointment online today by clicking this link!