Get Walking For Your Health

Do you want to get fit this year? Fitness is one area that many of us cover on our New Year’s resolution list – but end up not following through. Not everyone enjoys sport, running or going to the gym, but this doesn’t mean that you have forfeit good health and the many benefits that exercise has on the body.

Walking For health

Walking is a low impact exercise so your risk for injury is lower and you don’t need to spend a fortune on gym contracts and fancy gear. Comfortable clothing and a good pair of takkies are all you need to get started. Experts say that a brisk daily walk can help prevent or assist in the management of lifestyle diseases like high blood pressure, heart disease and type 2 diabetes. It also helps to improve your balance and coordination and strengthens your muscles and bones. Walking helps relieve stress and improves your mood. With no serious financial outlay, you can start a walking programme immediately.

Four Tips To Start Successfully And Keep Going

1. Plan It Well

Consider your current schedule and how you can fit walking into your daily routine. Perhaps an early morning walk is more your thing to walking late in the evening. You can also consider walking to work (where applicable) or taking a walking lunch.

2. Start Slowly

Do some warm-up exercises before you start on the walk. Start off with a 10 minute walk. Keep an even pace. To start cooling down, drop your speed as you reach the end of your walk. Do some stretches.

3. Set Goals And Push on

Start adding five minutes to your time every few days. Experts recommend physical activity for at least 150 minutes per week. If you walk 30 minutes per day for five days you have already can achieved this goal. If you build up to 45 minutes per day, you surpassed this by an hour and 15 minutes. Cumulative exercise through the day counts too, so if you can’t fit in a full 45 minutes, split up the sessions. Set weekly goals so that if you skip a day, you’ll be motivated to catch up your time on another day.

4. Walk Tall

Consider your posture when you walk. Don’t slouch. Pull in your abdominal muscles. Be aware of your shoulders. Don’t draw your shoulder blades up towards your ears. Keep them relaxed and pushed back. Increase your pace to push your heart to work a little harder. If you are walking with a buddy you should be able to talk easily without panting.

Safe Walking During Pregnancy

Preparing your body physically can help you cope better with the demands of labour. There’s also an upside to improving your fitness during pregnancy – you are less likely to suffer with joint and lower back pain, as well as varicose veins as exercise improves circulation. Exercise can also help to fight insomnia, helping you to sleep better.

Pregnancy changes your centre of gravity which can affect your balance, so it is important to choose an exercise that is safe. Walking is the answer for many moms-to-be. It works your heart and lungs and will strengthen and firm up the muscles – without being too stressful on your body.

The key is to start off slowly, especially if you have never exercised before. Try a 10 minute walk and see how your body responds. Walk at a pace that feels comfortable – don’t push yourself so hard that you end up struggling for breath. Build up your walking times over the next week or so. If you feel any discomfort, get a headache or feel dizzy, stop immediately. It is always important to see your doctor before starting any pregnancy fitness programme.

Photo by Bruno Nascimento on Unsplash

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Posted in: Health, Pregnancy
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