Walking is one of the easiest and most convenient way to exercise, you can pretty much find places where you can enjoy a walk safely. Walking can help trim your waistline, manage your weight, improve your mood, lower LDL (bad cholesterol), increase HDL (good cholesterol), lower blood pressure, reduce your risk of diabetes when done "briskly". Brisk walking is what I call "walking with passion".
Just like any exercise, you must challenge yourself in order to reap the benefits. Whether you are a treadmill walker or a nature walker, here are ways to put some 'pep' in your step:
1) Pump your elbows when you walk, this little addition will help pump your heart a little bit more therefore challenging it and making it stronger. Threadmill walkers, let go of the bar!
2) Walk tall, engage your core and walk proudly. Shoulders back, Chest up and Belly in helps better your posture as you walk and make you look thinner in an instant too!
3) Burn more calories with Interval training and be done in half the time. After your initial warm up, challenge your walk by increasing intensity for 3 minutes followed by a recovery walk for 2 minutes, repeat a few times.
There are other ways to increase intensity when walking and your body will tell you when its time for a new challenge. You may consider carrying a pair of light dumbbells, walking up hill, or shorten recovery walks between intervals.
As any diet or exercise, always, always consult your doctor before starting a program or increasing intensity. Remember to warm up before you increase intensity and cool down and stretch after your walk. Happy Walking!!!
, KAT Johnson, CPT, FNE