Published on April 5th, 2015 | by Ahana Basu
Walk the line
Need a quick, no-pain and no-expense way to fitness? Try walking your way to a better bod!
Walk, it’s good
Regular walking, like most aerobic activities, is good for you because cardio-vascular exercise strengthens the heart and lungs, increasing overall fitness. Together with diet and other exercise plans, it can also help with weight loss and tone up muscles. Think about it, all of this in a walk, without the hassle (and expense!) of a gym…
- Time it right: I prefer morning walks, when there is no traffic and everything is quiet. Also, a morning walk peps you up for the rest of the day. Your energy levels will be surprisingly higher throughout the day if you’ve started it with a brisk-walk. However, as long as you’re not walking in too much sun, morning, evening or even a quiet night-walk will do. But if you’re doing it for fitness, you need to do it on a regular basis. Even if you’re not doing it daily, three or four kilometres at least three days a week needs to be done.
- Take it slow: If you’re not used to daily exercise, your legs are going to be in a fair amount of pain for the first couple of weeks. Start out slowly. Do a kilometre or two a day, then push yourself to make it longer. Remember, there is a difference between a casual stroll and walking for fitness. You need to stay focussed and keep your pace brisk. So, switch off the snooze button and make sure you’re doing your daily share.
- Dress code: Loose, comfortable clothes and more importantly, the right shoes, are very important. Invest in a good pair of sports/running shoes. Don’t skimp on this, your feet will protest vociferously and you can’t walk with blisters from badly-fitting shoes. Break in the new shoes before a full-fledged walk. Wear comfortable, socks that let your feet breathe, throw some talcum powder between your toes if you have an issue with sweaty feet. Sweatpants, a loose t-shirt and please don’t go for bras that don’t let you breathe, but don’t war the ones that make you sag or bounce either. Hook your iPod on, spritz on the deo and you’re all set.
- It’s mental! Walking is also hugely calming for the spirit. If you’ve had a bad day, or you really want to punch someone in the face, walk it off. If you’re lucky enough to live near a park, or if your building has a jogging track, there’s nothing like it. If not, head for the road. Another great place to walk, if they allow you, are university campuses. They generally have acres of space, not too many bumps and traffic is low-key. So, there’s no reason to moan about gyms and personal trainers and how the guy on the next treadmill stinks all the time. Slip on your running shoes and head out.
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