A Guide on How to Walk Properly

A Guide on How to Walk Properly

Walking, as a way to improve your health and trim your waistline, requires the use of a good exercise technique. Specifically, knowing how to walk properly involves:

Using good form; let’s start with your head and work our way down.

Looking forward and not down with your eyes when walking; this way your neck, shoulders and back all stay in a straight vertical straight line with your head.

Giving some rhythm to your walk by naturally swinging your arms; to get even more benefit out of your walk and to burn more calories, use light hand weights and “work” your arms in a back-and-forth pumping motion.

Tightening your abdominal core when walking. A strong core gives your body good posture and helps keep head, neck, shoulders and back in alignment.

Making sure as you take steps forward, your foot contacts the ground on the outside of your heel first and as your step progresses, your weight should shift inside to your arch and then shift back to the ball of your foot and finally to your toes where you push off for your next step.

But you should also bear in mind these three tips if you’re going to get the most from your walking workouts…

Exercise (Almost) Daily

The United States Department of Health and Human Services recommends moderate exercise at least 2 1/2 hours each week to stay healthy. For most of us, this can be broken down into 30-minute increments of walking five days per week, interspersed with one day of strength training and resting on the seventh day, to round out your weekly healthy walking plan.

Set Realistic Goals

If you are extremely out of shape and have not exercised for a while, start slow. Once cleared by your doctor to exercise, try walking five minutes per day for the first week. Increase this amount by five minutes each week. After 6 weeks, you will be walking 30 minutes per day.

If you can’t find a 30-minute chunk of time to walk, you get the same benefit by walking twice a day for 15 minutes each time or even three 10-minute daily walks.

Track Your Progress

Tracking your progress is the part that gives you the motivation to stick to your healthy walking plan. Today, there are several electronic “tools” on the market to make tracking easy. Invest in a good pedometer or accelerometer to keep track of how many steps you walk each day. Your goal, between walking and other steps you take each day, should add up to 10,000 per day.

Benefits of Walking

Besides losing weight and getting healthier, following a walking plan can lift your mood, improve coordination, strengthen bones, and even prevent or negate the effects of various illnesses, such as heart disease, high blood pressure and Type 2 diabetes.

To make walking even easier, enlist a friend or family member to walk with you. Both of you will reap the benefits of walking when you have a healthy walking technique and know how to walk properly.