Waling is a great exercise. It burns calories, strengthens muscles and bones, improves balance, boosts mood and helps prevent health problems ranging from heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. However, if you are not walking the right walk, you may not be reaping the full benefits. It is important to keep in mind the following mistakes when you head out for a walk the next time:
Skipping the warmup.
Warmups arent just for long distance runners or professional athletes. It is a necessary pre-workout exercise that helps avoid injury. For a proper warmup, you should walk at a regular, comfortable pace for at least 5 minutes, and then stop and stretch all the major muscle groups (exactly as they show on TV!), including hip circles, side stretches, shoulder rolls and ankle rotations. once your muscles are warmed up and you heart rate is a little up, carry on with your walk.
2. Walking the same route everyday.
While there maybe nothing wrong with walking the same beautiful route that you have chosen for your walk each day, your body may get too used to it. Once it settles into the routine of the walk, it might not prove too challenging, thus, causing you to slack. For walking to be a sufficiently challenging workout, in order to get the most out of it, try mixing things up, whether it is the pace, the course, or even the terrain. Adding variety to your workout will keep things interesting, prevent hitting a plateau, and stop you from burning out.
3. Too hard, too fast.
The biggest mistake people who begin fitness regimes such as walking and other workouts, is to start too hard too fast. The ideal way is to take it as easily and as slowly as you possibly can, while still implementing change. Make it enjoyable, and make it sustainable, is our mantra. You don’t want to burn out a month (or even sooner) into your new walking routine. Your muscles need to be developed and strengthened for flexibility and endurance, and that doesn’t happen the first week out. You need to focus on how to progress and stay committed at the same time.
4. Ignoring your posture.
Poor walking posture, as with most long term workouts, takes a toll on your body. Posture is absolutely critical. If you subject your muscles to a strenuous, inappropriate posture for a long period of time, it can lead to muscle imbalance and deformity, which may result in chronic injuries. The ideal way to maintain your posture during walking is to keep the hunch out of your back, keep your eyes on the horizon (literally as well as figuratively), and engage your upper and lower limbs.
Minding the above pointers will make walking an enjoyable workout that has so much to offe