Walking is good for your health and is recommended to do weekly. Not only is walking doable at almost any age, it also provides positive health benefits such as lowering the risk of certain cancers, losing weight and even strengthening your memory. Denise Austin, AARP Fitness Ambassador reveals 10 tips you can do to turn your walk into a workout.
1. Wear the right clothing - prepare yourself and make sure you are wearing comfortable clothes and have supportive shoes with good arch support.
2. Stretch and warm up - start your walk with a simple stretch to get the blood flow moving through your body. Stretching helps lessen the chance of injury doing a work out. Starting off with a quick walk can help raise your heart rate and warm up your muscles.
3. Perfect your technique - make sure you step on your heel first and roll on your foot to your toes to make it easier on your knees and back.
4. Engage your abs - not only does this help tone your abdomen, and improve your posture, but it also takes less pressure off your back while walking.
5. Focus on your arms - bending your arms while walking helps burns more calories.
6. Power walk for 20 minutes - add this to your work out to strengthen your heart and lungs and improve your metabolism! This may seem more challenging than normal walking, but the health benefits make up for it.
7. Take the “talk test” - if you want to see if you are challenging yourself while walking, ask yourself if you can put together a sentence easily. If you are not out of breath while talking, try walking faster and raise your heart rate.
8. Challenge yourself with arm exercises - by adding arm exercises like raising your arms above your head or adding punches, it intensifies your workout and helps tone your body.
9. Cool down and stretch - after an intense walk you should always do a 5 minute cool down to bring your heart rate back down. Once your cool down is complete, make sure to stretch your back, legs and hips as this increases flexibility and decreases the chances of soreness.
10. Schedule walks - get a friend to walk with you to help you keep accountable. Pick days and times that work best for you and your daily life. AARP recommends to walk 3 times a week for a total of 20-30 minutes.
Please consult your doctor before starting any work out.
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