Not a fan of the gym? No worries! Brisk walking will work as a great exercise for you. It is a good cardio workout that has great benefits for your health.
Brisk walking is a moderate-intensity cardio exercise that doesn’t involve any equipment or special skills. It’s basically just walking at a higher pace.
Now, the walking pace differs from person to person, depending on their health condition, age, and fitness level. But one thing all brisk walkers have in common: an increased heart rate.
If your heart beats faster than during your regular walks, then you’re reaching a brisk walking pace. And keeping your heart rate up brings lots of health benefits.
The Health Benefits Of Brisk Walking
Taking brisk walks will work large muscles in your body and it will push your lungs and heart to work harder. This, over time, will make your heart stronger and more efficient because it is a muscle after all.
So you will be able to manage or prevent various conditions like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and even high blood pressure.
A brisk walk can also help you maintain a healthy weight and strengthen your muscles and bones.
Going for a brisk walk on a daily basis will also improve your coordination, balance, and mood.
The more frequently you go for these brisk walks, the more benefits your body gets. There are just a few techniques you need to know and you are ready to start your speed walk.
The Best Technique For A Brisk Walk
It may sound a bit much but you need a few guidelines on how to turn your regular walks into a fitness routine.
When you start walking faster, this is what your body should look like:
- Look forward with your head up. Don’t look at the ground.
- Your shoulders, back, and neck need to be relaxed.
- Swing your arms freely with a slight bend in your elbow. If your arms do a little pumping motion, that is ok.
- Keep your stomach muscles slightly tighten and your back straight. Don’t arch your back forward or backward.
- You should be walking smoothly, rolling the feet from the heels to the toe.
These few tips will help you do your brisk walking the right way and get all the benefits out of it.
There is nothing complicated in doing this kind of walk. You just have to pick up the pace of your usual walking and this way you get a good cardio workout with lots of health benefits mentioned earlier.
Brisk Walking Safety Tips
Before starting your brisk walk routine, make sure you follow all these safety tips:
1. Make Sure You Choose The Path Carefully
The path you choose for your walk is very important. If you do outdoor walks, make sure that the sidewalks don’t have cracks and potholes. You should also avoid uneven paths.
When the weather is not the best for walking, you can go to shopping malls that offer open space for walking.
2. Choose The Right Gear For Your Brisk Walk
The most important thing you need to know is that you have to choose the right footwear.
You need shoes that have proper arch support, thick and flexible soles that will cushion the feet and absorb shocks, and firm heels.
Wear comfortable clothes and dress appropriately for the weather. If you go for a walk when it’s dark outside, choose bright color clothes or wear reflective tapes to make sure you are visible.
3. You Need To Warm Up
To get your body warmed up, walk slowly for about 5 to 10 minutes. This way you will warm up your muscles and your body will be ready for exercise.
4. Don’t Forget About Cooling Down
The cooling down is a simple procedure you need to do it to relieve the tension in your muscles. Just do 5 to 10 minutes of a slow walk after you are done with the brisk walking.
5. Do Some Stretches
After you did your cool-down, gently stretch out your muscles. Some of us prefer to stretch before the workout. You can do that too, just warm up first and then do those stretching moves.
Set Realistic Goals!
Now that you know how to do the brisk walking and what you need to keep it safe, you should find a goal that keeps you walking.
You need to set yourself a realistic goal, and that should be about 30 minutes of walk per day. If you don’t have that much time to spare at once, do several rounds of 10 or 15 minutes throughout your day.
Any amount of exercise you can do is better than doing nothing.
The small amount off activities is great because they accumulate throughout the day and add up as an exercise that will have great health benefits.
If you haven’t been doing regular exercises, the best thing you can do is start small. In the first week of your routine, you can do just 10 minutes of brisk walking.
Start with even just 5 minutes per day in your first week and add another 5 minutes each week until you reach those 30 minutes per day.
To get even more health benefits out of these brisk walks, you can build your exercise time gradually to up to 60 minutes per day.
Four Steps To Keep You Motivated
Repeating the same brisk walking program every day seems (and feels) a bit boring. Sticking to the program is harder than actually walking for half an hour.
So if you’re looking for simple ways to stay motivated during your brisk walking routine, you can try these tips:
1. Start With The Right Mindset
Take everything slow and set realistic goals to make it easier to stick to your plan.
You can have simple goals like taking a 10-minute walk during your lunch break. When this lunch walk becomes a habit, set yourself a new goal like walking for 20 minutes after work.
2. Make Sure You Vary Your Route
Doing outside walks every day on the same route can become boring.
For variety, you can try to plan different routes for your walks. This way you can enjoy different views when walking and keeping your walks interesting because you don’t go the same way every day.
If you have various routes that you are taking and you are going alone, make sure that someone knows where you are. This way you can be easily found if something happens.
Also, to be safer during your regular brisk walks, choose well-lit routes if possible.
3. Make Your Walks Enjoyable
If you find that walking alone is not your thing, you can ask a neighbor or friend to join you. You can even join a walking group. Usually, there are people that will make you feel energized.
Not a fan of people? Try to listen to some music to make your walks more enjoyable.
4. Don’t Give Up If You Missed A Few Days
Yes, it can happen. We all have days where we find it hard to complete our workout routine or simply do not find the time to do it.
But if you missed a few days of your walking, don’t just give up. Remember how good it felt when you did your routine and get back on that route.
To better health, a better mindset all you need to do is to take that first step. Once you start walking, you’ll see the result, and they will keep you going.
Just start the brisk walking and you will immediately find yourself walking on a path to better health.