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Move of the Week: Walking

By Emma-Kate Stampton Created: April 6, 2012 Last Updated: April 16, 2012
Related articles: Health » Fitness
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Jared Tallent of Victoria competing in the Open Men's 50 Kilometer Race Walk. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

Jared Tallent of Victoria competing in the Open Men's 50 Kilometer Race Walk. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

Walking is easy and inexpensive. It clears your mind while boosting your health. Walking is one of the unsung heroes of well-being.

Walking 30 minutes a day will not only improve your cardiovascular fitness, helping to keep heart disease at bay, but it will also help strengthen the muscles of your legs, hips, and stomach while keeping you fit and lean. To get the maximum benefits of walking, it is important to practice mindfulness.

Helpful Tips

Turn your walk into an effective abdominal workout. Simply imagine you are trying to make the waistband of your pants a little looser. This will strengthen those deep core muscles and promote good alignment in your pelvis.

For great posture while you’re walking, keep your shoulders relaxed and gently drawn back.

Finally, don’t forget to breathe. Take long slow breaths to support your body with the oxygen it needs.

After three to four weeks of walking, you will start to feel your fitness level improve. When your normal speed starts to get a little easy, then it’s time to up the anti. Vary your intensity by walking faster or uphill for two to three minutes every five minutes. Engage your glutes and thighs while taking long strides.

Treadmill Versus Outdoors

People often wonder if they should use the treadmill or walk outdoors. When walking on a treadmill, you can easily monitor your speed, time, and hill elevation.

Walking outdoors can be more challenging, as the terrain and surface are often ever-changing. Being in the open air can also be more refreshing and help you clear your mind.

There are benefits to both forms of exercise. Which is better depends on your environment, schedule, drive, and body. A fitness plan will be best adhered to when it is as convenient and local as possible.

Emma-Kate Stampton is a personal trainer and Pilates teacher-trainer. She is based in Brisbane, Australia.




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