A daily and simple action like to take a walk can trigger a lot of benefits for the health. When brisk and frequent walks help, among other things, to reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol, reduce the risk of high blood pressure, heart diseaseblows or diabetes already control the sugar in the sangre.
In this vein, experts agree that the faster, farther and more often we walk, the greater the benefits.
1 – Maintain Frequency
Walking is an ideal alternative for people who, due to being overweight or other health problems, find it difficult to engage in vigorous exercise. In turn, this activity is a good way to start being more active and progress to more physically demanding habits.
There World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity per week. A walk of about 30 minutes 5 times a week is enough to respect these recommendations. For this activity to have a positive impact on overall health, it is essential to maintain consistency, build the habit, and gradually increase the challenges.
In this tone, the doctor Alberto Cormillot explained to GlobeLiveMedia that “a person can stop being sedentary if they adopt new healthy habits, such as exercising or playing sports, for at least 30 minutes, 3 days a week. In this way, great weight will be given to avoid obesity and other diseases related to a sedentary lifestyle and poor diet”.
2 – Walking sticks
While walking sticks are often thought of as being for older people, incorporating walking sticks into walking can improve the fitness of anyone at any age. In this sense, Nordic walking combines cardiovascular exercises with vigorous muscular training for the shoulders, arms, torso and legs.
“When you walk without poles, you activate the muscles below the waist. If you add Nordic poles, all the upper body muscles are also activated,” explained the cardiologist. Aaron Baggishaffiliated with Harvard University.
“You exercise between 80% and 90% of your muscles, instead of 50%, which provides a substantial benefit for burning calories”, added the specialist in a publication of the la Harvard Medical School. It is noted there that Nordic walking burns more calories than normal walking – estimates range from 18% to 67% more.
3 – Toggle surface types.
The easiest way to climb your hike is to find an incline. Choosing steep paths or routes, such as stairs, adds resistance that can help develop lower body muscles like quads, hamstrings, and calves.
Lawrence Elson, a sports medicine specialist at Stanford University, suggested: “Walk the stairs for a minute or two or increase the incline of your treadmill and walk for 30 seconds to a minute.
4 – Vary the intensity.
Intense interval training involves walking at a faster pace than usual for a short time, followed by a period of rest at a slower pace, and repeating the cycle for a set amount of time or distance.
“The key is to walk at a brisk pace that gets your heart rate up and makes you work harder,” Elson recommended in a recent post from Harvard Medical School. Of course, what is considered “energetic” differs for each person.
A simple way to know if one is putting in the necessary effort is the “speaking test”, which consists of being able to maintain a fluent dialogue without effort while doing a physical activity. “It ensures that you work hard enough, but not too hard. Aim for 5-6 on the scale during the most intense part of your walk, which is a moderate intensity level.”
5 – Set yourself a goal.
The experts of the mayo clinic recommend keeping a daily progress log of steps, walking time, and distance walked. It’s very useful for gauging when you start to take the activity seriously and it can serve as a source of inspiration so as not to lose consistency. “Think how good you will feel when you see how many kilometers you have traveled each week, month or year”, underline the specialists of the American health center.
According to these precepts, using an activity tracker or a mobile app to calculate steps and distance is a great resource for measuring goals and setting new goals. However, the important thing is to give up the sedentary life and start moving: going for a walk is always beneficial.
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.
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