Walk your way to better health

One of the most effective wasy to improve your health and wellbeing is to pair a good varied diet with moderate levels of exercise.

Walking is the perfect way to increase your daily activity levels. The act of putting one foot in front of the other is the easiest form of aerobic exercise there is for losing weight and promoting cardiovascular fitness. Walking can help build strength, burn calories and reduce stress, and by the age of 80 it’s calculated we will have clocked up 216,262,500 steps!

It also helps to promote muscle tone in your legs, trunk and core, all of which are essential to proper posture, healthy joints and strong bones. Added benefits also include improved insulin resistance, reduced stress and better sleep.

Walking is also a great alternative to running. Even a light jog can put a lot of stress on your joints – four times your body weight in fact. While a brisk stroll through the countryside or your local park for half an hour will work wonders for your physical and emotional well-being.

Here are even more great reasons to get walking:

  • Improves your heart health by reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke
  • Improves circulation by delivering oxygen and nutrients to all of your cells
  • Lowers your blood pressure
  • Decreases cholesterol
  • Reduces your risk of type 2 diabetes
  • Strengthens your bones and joints and reduces your risk of osteoporosis
  • Boosts your immune system
  • Sharpens your focus and nourishes your brain tissue
  • Burns calories

What’s the proper way to walk?

It may sound simple, but just how do you do it and are you doing it right?

Feet: Lead with your heel and land purposefully while lifting tall on that hip. This activates the buttock on the striking leg, which then activates the muscles in the trunk.

Hips: Stabilise your hips as you walk, particularly if you have a tendency to sway from side to side. A swing may look good, but it does nothing for firming your derriere! Imagine walking in a narrow corridor without letting your hips or shoulders touch the sides.

Stomach: Imagine a line from your pubic bone to your belly button. This activates your core and stabilises your centre.

Shoulders: Keep rounded shoulders at bay by lengthening through the neck. Think of wearing a miner’s helmet on your head and keep the ‘light’ beaming straight in front of you. If the light starts to shine on the ground, your stomach turns off and your buttocks do not activate effectively. So lift your light high and walk with a long spine. This instantly makes you look taller and leaner.

Walking is an ideal way to clear your mind and boost your energy. Even just 10 minutes of a walking will improve your circulation and brighten you up.

For more tips on living a healthy lifestyle grab a copy of the latest Yours.