Walking is aerobic physical activity, which is for our body absolutely natural. Compared to other sports and physical activities it has a big advantage - almost everyone can practise it. It is beneficial for our condition, for our heart, muscles, is a great means for weight loss. To feel the benefits of walking are sufficient just three months of regular daily walking.
People who walk regularly have prerequisites for a longer life without health problems and difficulties with mobility.
Regular walking helps to eliminate the risk of heart disease, walking reduces dangerous fats in the blood, a positive effect the problems with high blood pressure, and during the problems with movability. Walking is suitable for people of all ages and is suitable for those who cannot otherwise play sports because of problems with their joints, bones, high blood pressure, or a lack of finance.
What do you need for regular walking?
- Correct Shoes: Shoes should be flexible and in a place where the sole of the foot bends sufficiently elastic. You will feel much better in the light shoes. It is good to invest in a really good quality shoes. Buy preferably the shoes that have cushioned soles and rigid ankle. Hiking shoes have a firm sole suitable for long-distance marches and challenging terrain, but to walk into town they are not very suitable.
- Motivation: Effective and appropriate incentives will help you to meet with your intent and not ease up. A good motivation is the reward, which is undoubtedly a better physical condition and handsome figure, but a quick reward after all just works a little bit better. After each walk, treat yourself with reward in the form of relaxing baths or nice film, etc. Get a pedometer, increasing readings on the pedometer will improve your motivation to carry on.
- Sparring partner: The ideal situation is when you find for your new activity a reliable sparring partner. Two are better than one even during the walking.
- Feeling good: do not walk with full stomach or if you are ill.
Walking and posture
The walking will be effective and beneficial for physical condition and weight loss, if we respect proper posture. Before each walk is the ideal to position ourselves into the starting upright position.
Think of that:
- Your back should be straightened out - gently pull the belly and push forward your pelvis.
- The head pointing upward as the extension of the spine - for help, you can imagine that the top of the head, on the crown of the head, is attached to a string, which is someone pulling up.
- Shoulders are facing downward.
- Be firm in the position, but not cramped.
- The feet and hands are slightly loosened.
Before you go for a walk, do not forget to do a short and pleasant stretching. Stretch up arms, legs, and spine. Exercise and stretch the feet too. Activate feet before walking and shake the ankle and instep. This will give you a pleasant feeling in the legs, this way you prepare your feet for oncoming activity and prevent foot pain. First, perform gyrations on both sides, then stretch foot in the instep - alternately heel, and toe at least 3 times for each leg.
When walking, think of the abidance of proper posture and you should also specifically clench abdomen and buttocks. Clenching of gluteal muscles when walking will help you lose weight and firm up your backside. Integrate walking into everyday life, many people are whimpering, that they don’t have time for regular everyday walks, but you can for example try to dart earlier in the morning to work and you can use this time for walking.
How to walk properly
A lot of us have during walking many bad habits that may lead during the longer regular walks to burden of our organism. Even walking has its own proper technique, which leads to the integrating of various muscle structures in the correct "movement pattern." Very important is smoothness of walking, which can be achieved by the equal lengths of the steps. Because different lengths of steps leads to differences in stressing of legs resulting in unbalanced muscular work of the whole body , which affects unbalanced laying of feet.
Furthermore, it is a feeling of supple walk, which relieve the spine and joints. It is recommended to clamp down on the heel first, and gradually transfer the centre of gravity forward towards the tip. It relieves the heel, until complete unwinding of the foot.
Proper and gradual activation of the muscles of the legs: controlling of walking is hallux, which directs the whole body. If is the step directed to the tips of the thumb, it leads to muscle turn which is forming longitudinal arch of instep. Active use of hallux during the walk to its end prevents deformation of the hallux joint. At each step, knee is facing forward and is not turning sideways. This helps to strengthen the heel during the stepping out and directing the step towards the hallux.
Proper and deep breathing and work of hands: torso (shoulders, back) should be straight and relaxed naturally and should not restrict the movement of the entire body. Inhale and exhale should be steady and deep enough to provide the body with the necessary amount of oxygen. To control the intensity and length of the walk is used device called pedometers. Their basic function is to count steps, but also allow for approximate calculation of walked distance and calories given during the walking. With the pedometer, you can easily monitor the daily movement range.
Walking and Weight Loss
Walking becomes effective after 30 minutes of walking. Experts recommend devote to walking at least three times a week for three quarters of an hour. The faster you go, the higher impact will have walking on your weight loss. Brisk walking (about 6 km / h) is already quite beneficial. It is a moderately brisk walking, which you set when you are in a hurry to the bus stop.
It is important always follow proper walking technique. Observe good posture, retracted abdomen, straightened his back, slightly push forward pelvis, relax your arms and legs and keep solid posture, rather than loose or convulsive. You should go in a slight forward bend, if you use into your movement your hands, then increase distribution of calories and strengthen your upper body.
Walking is the most natural kind of movement for human kind. Each one of us walks every day thousands of steps and we even do not realize when we begin to walk purposefully and increase the speed and intensity of walking, then we can expect large and pleasant changes in the overall condition, of our life feeling and experiencing and in weight loss. Lack of walking increases the risk of heart disease, especially heart and blood vessels.
Regular walking will pay off, soon you will feel the change. At the weekend, go for a walk in the woods, or go to see sightseeing or begin to practise geocaching. During the week go to work or from work on foot, or at least get off the bus a stop or two earlier. Go for walks with children or a dog, walk the stairs, and avoid using the elevator. Of course, it will change the whole situation and it will be very helpful if you change your whole diet and lifestyle.
Regarding the intensity of the walk, which is suitable for weight loss, then it is a moderately brisk walk, during which it is still possible, without greater shortness of breath, converse with your companion. Organism works in aerobic mode at 40-70% maximum heart rate. You can easily calculate your maximum heart rate, (220 - your age) from the required 40 - 70%. When you do not reach the required heart rate, weight loss does not start. Another important point is the time interval of walking. For the weight, loss is necessary to remain in physical activity with heart rate 40-70% for at least 30 minutes, the longer the better. With gradually increasing physical condition, lengthen the time up to an hour or longer. The last question concerns the regularity. It is recommended to walk 6-7 km a day. It's ideal, but to start with just a half-hour walk every other day (about 3-4 km per day). Again, with increasing physical condition prolong period of walks and perform it every day.
If you start with regular walking, first select a more moderate pace. The pace and performance will gradually increase. It should be fun for you, so take it easy at first, and start at lightly pace. When you build up to some performance, you can start to run. Running is for weight loss slightly more efficient than walking, and help you get more endurance. Of course, you can supplement walking and other sports, such as roller-skating or biking. It is important to move and engage in some aerobic activity.
Benefits of walking and fast walking
Improves body condition
Improves mood - when we walk the hormones of good mood are produced
Strengthens bones and joints
It strengthens the heart and reduces the risk of heart disease
It increases oxygen levels in brain and improves our memory
Walking can be run almost everywhere
It is good for your muscles, heart, and is a means to reduce body weight
This is a natural resource of movement
Morning walk energizes your body and helps compare ideas
When walking in the countryside you can discover beautiful places and to relax, nature walks soothe nerves
Walking moves all muscle groups
When walking we supply oxygen to the body's cells, which are then much more able to get rid of harmful products
When walking on uneven ground you strengthen the stabilizing muscles, including the muscles of the outer and inner thighs
Walking lowers cholesterol levels and high blood pressure
Walking improves bone density, hampering the development of osteoporosis and the development of osteoarthritis
The longer and more intense walks you do, the better your memory, and cognitive abilities will be
Walking helps to oxygenate the brain and thereby enhances creativity and ability to solve problems and complicated situations
Regular walking support the elasticity of blood vessels, which naturally decreases by age
Walking reduces anxiety and feelings of depression
Walking burns calories: during the thirty minutes brisk walk you burn same amount of calories which will be equal with calorie loss during the fifteen minute climb to steep stairs, half an hour of work in the garden, hourly washing windows or floors, or quarter of an hour of clearing snow.
Nordic walking is a dynamic walking with poles with special bindings. Nordic Walking comes from Finland, where it can be considered almost a national sport and it also has found popularity and a lot of followers in our country. For the technique of Nordic walking, we owe a Finnish cross-country skier, who was looking for a summer alternative to cross-country skiing. From here, it is taken the basic movement of Nordic walking.
Forward goes always left leg and right hand together and then the right leg and left arm. Although it looks simple enough for a beginner, it is not always easy to find the optimal length of steps and learn how to move your hands properly. Therefore, it is always better to consult it first with a trainer of Nordic walking. If your technique is bad, then you are threaten for example, that you will slouch and instead of enjoying the walking, your back will hurt.
When you start use Nordic walking sticks, your walking will be much more dynamic, confident and also you will burn more calories. You will get out of our breath, but you will not to overload your joints, because unlike the run there is missing the movement phase in the air. Doctors recommend Nordic walking, not only as a gentle form of weight reduction, as well as rehabilitation exercises after injury.
Nordic walking can be used as regular training for our overall body condition and body strengthens, possibly as additional training in the practising of other sports, where we strain only a certain group of muscles. The aim of the advanced Nordic walkers is a joy of movement, enjoyment of stay in the nature, and of course the desire to increase their strength and endurance. In this case, it is suitable combined training, with sticks and runs uphill, jumping, shifting to a higher speed, when work of the arms and legs are stronger, more dynamic and intense. Combine different exercises with sticks.
Special lightweight sticks used for Nordic walking are not only strong but also flexible. Spike of sticks are protected with the rubber foot, for possible walking on asphalt, which can be removed on the nature paths. Important parts of poles are loops, which are attached to your wrists. It must maintain the stick in contact with the hand, since the basic principle of this technique is to alternately grip and release the sticks. During the walking with poles varies muscle tension, blood circulation in the muscles and their release. This sport is very suitable even for allergy sufferers and asthmatics. This type of walking strengthens the upper body muscles, and that is why the breathing is much easier.
Zdravotní pojišťovna ministerstva vnitra ČR podporuje všechny formy udržování se v kondici, čemuž má přizpůsobenou i nabídku výhod pro své klienty. Myslete na své zdraví nejen při efektivní chůzi, ale i v dalších oblastech.