May is National Walking Month and every year we encourage people to take to their feet and feel the benefits. Walking is simple, free and one of the easiest and cheapest ways to get more active, lose weight and become healthier.
Regular walking has been shown to reduce the risk of chronic illnesses such as heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, asthma and some cancers. Also, all you need to get started is a pair of shoes or trainers that are comfortable and provide adequate support.
Remember that the first step is the hardest but, it is also the most important. If you aren’t an experienced walker then start slowly and build up your regime. To get the health benefits from walking it needs to be of moderate intensity – faster than a stroll. Most of us walk between 3,000 and 4,000 steps but try to walk 10,000 per day.
Walking one mile can burn up to 100 Calories and walking two miles a day, three times a week, can help reduce weight by one pound every three weeks. When you take a step, you are using up to 200 muscles.
To help you get started, here are some fitness tips,
Vary activity/exercise – it’s important to vary your programme to remain fresh, energised and interesting
Training Plateau – it’s normal for your training to ‘plateau’ once your body gets used to your normal training. To overcome this it’s important to carry out different exercises using key muscle groups
Strength Training – technique is FAR more important than how far you can walk or how much you can lift! Increased strength will reduce the risk of injury and increase performance
Core Stability and Balance – good postural structure/core are essential for improved health/reduced injury risk.