Walking for Exercise

Walking for exercise is a great way to get active and help you lose weight and stay in shape

There is no membership to purchase for this type of workout.

Simply put on your walking shoes and head out the door.

You can walk at the local school track, a part, your neighborhood or even walk the mall.....just don't stop to shop until after your workout.

This type of workout out can be at a brisk pace to get the heart rate going or a slower pace for a more relaxing activity.

Just getting outside to enjoy the weather, and of course do some walking, is a great way to unwind and relieve some stress.

Walking for your workout gives you many benefits beyond just helping you to lose weight.

Benefits of Walking

In addition to helping you shed some extra pounds and relieve some tension, walking for exercise has many health benefits.

couple walking
Some of these benefits include;

Stronger Heart  

Walking strengthens the heart. 

Studies show that the mortality rate in retired men who walked less than a mile per day were almost double that of men who walked more than two miles per day. 

Similar for women, one study showed that walking for exercise three or more hours per week reduced their risk of a heart attack by 35% compared to women who did not walk.

Strong bones, strong body

For women who are postmenopausal, studies show that walking for exercise can improve your bone density.  

Women who walked about one mile each day showed higher whole-body bone density than women who walked less.  Walking can also help slow the rate of bone loss from the legs.

Brain Power

You can improve your cognitive functions by simply walking one and half hours per week.

So if you want to out-do your co-workers and get that promotion, go for a walk and exercise your body as well as your mind.

Ease Depression symptoms

Walking can help ease symptoms of depression as well.  Taking a 30 minute walk three to five times a week helps minimize depression symptoms.

So walking really is good for the heart, body, mind and soul. 

Other Benefits

Additionally, walking can reduce the risks of certain diseases like type 2 diabetes and certain cancers like breast and colon cancer. 

And of course, walking promotes fitness.  So get all the benefits of walking as exercise so you can lose weight, have a healthier heart, body, mind and soul.

Just Start Walking

woman walkingDid you know that walking is actually an Olympic sport?  Neither did I until I started researching the benefit of walking. 

The Olympic sport of walking, known as racewalking, actually has specific techniques and rules that must be followed.

What we do typically is called power walking.  Of course there is the leisure walk that you may do with your kids or while taking a stroll through the park.

Even the leisure walk is good for stress relief and staying fit. 

But to really go for the calorie burn and weight loss, you will want to do a power walk.

Power Walking Techniques

Although power walking is not an Olympic sport, it does require some technique.

man power walkingSwing your arms as you walk. Keeping your arms at a 90 degree angle, swing your arms back and forth. 

Keep your hands loose and relaxed.  No need to tighten them into a fist.  Keep your arms close to the body; don’t cross over across your chest. 

Walk with your head up, and make sure your back is straight.  Leaning forward or back will slow you down, so keep a straight back.

Keep your head up but relaxed and relax your shoulders as well.

Point your toes straight ahead.  Don’t walk flat footed.  Walk heal to toe for the most benefit of your power walk. 

Make contact to the ground with your heal and push off with your toes.

Walk with a long, easy stride that doesn't strain you.  Don’t overstride as this may cause fatigue and you won’t be able to walk as long. 

So don’t over lengthen your stride.  Keep it at a stride that works for you and try increasing the speed by moving your arms faster.  Your legs will follow suit.  Rotate your hips as you walk. 

This technique is why some people don’t like to power walk as it looks a bit funny.  But by swinging your hips will help increase the speed.

In addition to just walking for exercise, add some spurts of sprinting with these interval training routines.

Using a treadmill to power walk is a great way to get the hang of it.  This way, you can fine tune your power walking techniques from the privacy of your own home before hitting the sidewalks in your neighborhood.  

Additional Articles

Benefits of Warming up and Cooling Down
Make sure you warm up and cool down before and after your walk. These two important steps to any workout has many benefits to you and your body.

Best Fat Burning Exercises
Are you getting the best fat burning benefits from your workouts? Read this article to find out what's the best way to burn fat through exercising.

Eating Before Exercise
Find out what and when to eat before you head out the door for you do your walking for exercise.