Submitted by Kevin Pederson on February 20, 2012
Walking is a basic exercise routine that is recommended by most fitness enthusiasts. All you need is a good pair of shoes and a flat piece of ground and you could do it almost anywhere you choose. Whether indoors in the comfort of your home with a treadmill, at the gym or outdoors enjoying the scenery while you workout, fitness walking is a great way to lose weight and stay in shape.
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Remember though that fitness walking is a little different from just strolling. Fitness walking takes walking to a whole different dimension. It adds a cardiovascular workout to your routine, increasing lean muscle mass and decreasing body fat.
Here are a few differences you would notice:
- A quickening of pace. A better way to describe it would be if you were walking to a meeting. Your steps would be more purposeful and you would be more aware of your walking.
- As you walk, you start to move your hands with real intention. The palms are balled into a fist. There is a rhythmic forward backward movement of your elbows. Start with a slow and relaxed motion and then pick up the pace.
- You will find that the faster you drive your elbows back, the faster you will pick up your pace. It is just a natural motor programme that will kick in. Do not bunch your shoulders, throw your arms in the air, or swing them like a pendulum. These movements would only cause cramping and injury.
- Remember to take in deep breaths and exhale while walking. Fitness walking can help you de- stress as you concentrate on your walking and take in your environment. Make sure to enjoy the process as much as the result. This is what keeps a fitness routine interesting and keeps you motivated.
- The next thing you want to concentrate on is your stride. You want to roll from your heel to your toe and be aware of it as you take each step. Heel, ball, toe—remember those three steps and you will get a rocking motion which is the effective way for fitness walking. Do not over-stride or take long strides. You would want to take your natural steps, but turn over faster.
- If you are walking and you can carry on a conversation but are breathless, you are doing fine. If you cannot do so, you are going way too hard. You should make sure you are breathing hard but are not breathless.
Fitness walking can help you lose weight, keep diabetes and heart diseases at bay, and give you a sharp, focused mind. Besides, fitness walking is a low impact workout, which means less injury and greater benefits.
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