Safest, cheapest, easiest are three words that best describe walking as a form of exercise. A brisk walk is superior to a casual jaunt. You are in the outdoors, taking in all that fresh air and sunlight (Vitamin D), the least you can do is enhance your workout regimen. By understanding how walking can help hone your body and how many calories it burns when you do it a certain way, you can alter your activity to make the most of it.
How To Improve Walking Workouts
The Brisk Walking Advantage
At 3.5 to 4 miles per hour, you are looking to lose an average 400 calories. This is possible with brisk walks, not ‘lazy’ strolls.
- Your aim is to make the most of your time walking. While slow walks are still beneficial, they are not nearly as good as a vigorous walk-workout.
- Walking does not merely include mornings in the park or quick-strolls around the block. It’s you skipping elevators and escalators and taking the stairs wherever possible throughout the day.
- If you can manage to walk to work or walk to meet friends, do it instead of taking the car or other transportation.
- Long steps are one style of walking but short steps can help you speed-walk. You do not want to place strain on your legs and feet with long strides, rather take short ones and increase your calorie burn-count.
A brisk 30-minute walk every day can make a world of difference to your health. A 150-pound person can lose around 300 calories merely speed-walking on flat terrain at 3.5 miles an hour. Imagine the heart health (cardiovascular) possibilities of sticking to this schedule and losing a potential 1000 to 2000 calories per week! Your walking workouts just improved.
Is There Anything To Help Me Monitor My Progress?
A pedometer is an excellent tool or device for walkers. It keeps track of your steps, which should preferably be in the 3000 to 5000 range (minimum, maximum).
- There is no real limit, to be honest. 10,000 steps is the new modern standard for walkers.
- Your aim is to challenge yourself every day, starting small and reaching high.
- Aside from walking in the mornings using your pedometer to keep track of things, you need to perform a few exercises on the side to further enhance your regimen.
These exercises also need to be brisk and active, not calm and relaxed; that will only beat the purpose.
How To Move Your Arms During Brisk Walks
Keep your arms in a 90-degree position, not too rigid, and ensure that they move in that angle as you swing them in accordance with your speed-walking steps.
- Much like race walkers, you move as if you are running; pump from the shoulders as you swing.
- Bring your wrist to the center of your chest. No need to go too high.
- Your arms can be swung back rather casually, though. As if you are going for something in your pants pocket. Then pump forward again, briskly, toward the chest.
- Keep it normal, swing your left arm as you step with your right leg; called ‘moving in opposition’. Do not do right-arm-right-leg or left-arm-left-leg, it makes no sense and it only puts irrelevant strain on your muscles.
Keep your elbows close to the side (no chicken flapping), your hands normal and unclenched (no fists), and your wrists straight (no weird angling or twisting). Some exercises have you turning your wrists as you walk or slightly skewing as you lift light dumbbells but we are talking about when your hands are free and your focus is on speed-walking only.
Arm action inspires your body to speed up, and increase pace and distance. You can burn at least 5-10% more calories with good arm swings to complement your speed-walking.