August 18, 2018

When in doubt, walk it out!

Get Fit Quick Tip:

When in doubt, walk it out!

No time? No equipment for a workout? Walk! Walking for fitness doesn’t require expensive equipment, proper clothing, a specific location or a baseline of fitness. Simply grab your keys, phone and go. Instead of focusing on a target pace, set a goal to walk at a sustained pace, of your choosing, for a specific time.  Begin with 5 minutes and build from there. Unsure of walking outdoors? Walking may be done indoors for safety and comfort via the grocery store, mall, hallway or even around your living room. Indoor walking provides restrooms and chairs as soon as they’re needed. And the benefits are the same! You’re strengthening your heart, lungs, muscles, balance and agility. Go fast, go slow, go long, go slow, go outdoors, go indoors… JUST GO!

Form a Walking for Fitness Club!

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Form a Walking Club!

Fitness is fun when others are included. And you’re less likely to skip out on your exercise when you know others are waiting for you. Add a social element to your workouts by forming a walking for fitness club. Getting started is easy. Here’s how:

Decide on a regular walking for fitness club day, time and meeting location and route.

Send an email, evite or group text inviting others to join you.

Send weekly reminders.

Through consistent exercise you’ll enjoy the many physical and psychological benefits. Here are just a few:

Regular exercise.

Build friendships.

Explore your town.

Expand your fitness horizons as you learn what other forms of fitness members enjoy.

 

 

Get Walking!

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Walk Together!

Walking is great exercise to do with a group. Walking allows you to interact with others, get fresh air and sunshine, take in the sights and requires no additional equipment. Walking doesn’t require learning a new skill or competency maintaining  a high intensity workout. Walking is a by-design workout, you can make it whatever you want it to be! You’ll strengthen your heart, lungs and muscles, and improve balance, agility and coordination, all at the same time. Simply put your shoes, grab your keys and phone, and GO! Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Exercise and socialize. Schedule a walk and talk with friends to catch up.

Take in the view. Walk to a vista or landmark location.

Walk to a destination. Walk to the store, library or movie theater.

Be a tourist. Take a scenic walk through your town.

Go off-road. Head to the local trail and and add an agility component to your walk.

 

 

 

Stand Up. Go Walk!

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Every 2 hours- Stand up and go for a walk.

If you’ve been sitting for 2 hours, you’ve been sitting for too long! Stand up and go for a short walk! Set your phone alarm to signal regular walks during your day. You’ll energize your body, and refresh your mind.

 

Walk around your building.

Walk the hallway.

Walk your driveway.

Walk to the break room.

Walk the stairs.

March in place.

 

Post-Walking Stretch

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Post-Walking Stretch

After you’ve completed your walk or run, perform a Standing Lunge Stretch to maintain mobility of your ankle.

Stand facing a wall or post. Place both hands on the wall about chest-level. Step about 18 inches back with your right foot. Push your right heel down, and bend your left knee slightly feeling a stretch in your right calf muscle. Hold for 10 to 20 seconds. Release and return to your starting position. Repeat the stretch by stepping back with your left foot. Hold for 10 to 20 seconds, and release.

 

*Consult your physician before performing exercise.

Walking for Fitness

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Walk!

Walking is effective cardiovascular exercise. Walking for fitness requires no additional equipment, and can be done right from your front door.

Ramp up your walking for fitness workout by adding in a few exercises at regular intervals:

Heel Raises: Stand keeping your torso straight. Lift and lower your heels.

Toe Raises: Stand keeping your torso straight. Lift and lower your toes.

Squats: Stand with your feet hip width apart. Bending from your knees and hips, sit back and lower your body toward the ground about six inches. Stand back up to return to your starting position.

 

*Always consult your physician before beginning exercise.

Get Extra Credit from your Walking Workout by Nicole Bryan

Looking to increase the intensity of your walking workout? Add in a few extra credit moves to burn additional calories. (Always consult your doctor before beginning exercise. The following is for those without injury or illness concerns.)

Walking Lunges. At the end of your walk, perform one to three sets of walking lunges. Step forward about three feet with your right foot. Bend your left knee and lower it about twelve inches toward the floor; bend your right knee so it is directly over your right ankle. Then transfer your weight forward onto your right foot, lift your left foot and swing your left foot to the center, then forward about three feet. Bend your right knee and lower it about twelve inches toward the floor; bend your left knee so it is directly over your ankle. Repeat ten times. For more of a challenge, increase the range of motion of lowering the knee towards the floor. Lower down until your knee is about two inches off the floor.

Standing Calf Raises. At the end of your walk, perform one to three sets of calf raises. Stand facing the curb or a step. Hang your heels off the curb. Lift and lower your heels. Perform ten to fifteen repetitions. For more of a challenge, place both arms across your chest when lifting and lowering your heels. Doing so will add a balance challenge into your calf raises.

Wall Squats. At various intervals during your walk, find a place to perform a wall squat hold. Position your feet about three-feet away from the wall and lean with your back against a wall or secure post. Slide your body down the wall until your thighs are parallel to the floor, keeping your knees directly over your ankles. Hold this position for ten to thirty seconds. Perform two to three sets back to back with thirty seconds rest in between holds. For more of a challenge, while in the wall squat position, keep your torso upright and still and lift your right foot about six inches off the ground and hold for ten to thirty seconds. Return your right foot to the floor and then lift your left foot about six inches off the ground for a hold of ten to thirty seconds. Perform two to three sets with each foot.

Walking Pick ups. Choose different landmarks on your route, or at specific time or mileage intervals do a quick pick-up of your walking pace for two to three minutes. During the pick up interval, shorten your stride, focus on the turnover of your legs, and move your arms. For more of a challenge, decrease the rest time in between intervals to thirty seconds of walking. Then go right back into another pick up interval.

Jogging Intervals. At each mile, do a short thirty second to two minute jogging interval. Extend the duration of your intervals to increase the intensity of your workout.

Stair climb. Find a flight of stairs on your walking route and do a few quick intervals up and down. To ramp up intensity, take the steps two at a time on the ascent and jog the descent.

 

*Disclaimer: Result may vary from person to person.

 

Is Walking Worth It? By Nicole Bryan

If you think all cardio has to be high intensity, all out, all the time, to gain health benefits, think again! Walking is a realistic, sustainable, effective and efficient cardiovascular exercise option for many. Proper walking for fitness form is important for increased efficiency. Increased efficiency means increased effectiveness, decreased risk of injury, reduced risk of falling, increased energy and sustainability of intensity during the workout.

Here are a few quality control check points to be aware of during your walking workout:

Even stride length between your right leg and your left leg. Uneven stride length could signal dysfunction of how your body is moving, which may lead to injury.

Walking in a heel to toe pattern. Walking flat-footed increases risk of falling. Walking or shuffling feet also decreases the distance covered (decreases energy expenditure) of each step.

Proper spinal alignment. Avoid the forward shoulders hunched over and head forward posture by keeping your ears lined up over your shoulders. Keep your shoulders lined up over your hips, hold your chin parallel to the floor, and keep your feet pointing forward.

Here are exercises to gain additional benefits and effectiveness in your walking for fitness workout:

Focus on increasing the turn-over of your steps. Basically shorten your stride and step faster. Moving at a faster pace will increase energy expenditure and burn more calories.

Power from your arms. Move more muscles, burn more calories.

Pull your belly button in, and pull your shoulders down and back. Why not get a core workout and strengthen your posture muscles at the same time? The result is additional benefit out of the same effort.

Practice deep breathing while walking. Slowly inhale through your nose for a count of 4, exhale out your mouth for a count of 6. The result will be an increase in energy and decrease in stress.

Does walking offer health benefits? YES! Choose to move your body aerobically, on a regular basis. Find what you enjoy, and you’ll enjoy doing it.

Walk your way to fitness! By Nicole Bryan

Walking for fitness is one of the simplest activities from which we can reap worthwhile metabolic benefits, as well as cardiovascular benefits.

Begin with a five to ten minute warm up of walking at a slow to moderate pace, followed by fast paced walking. Important points regarding walking for fitness form include:

 

Focus on walking heel to toe, instead of landing with a flat foot. Doing so reduces our chance of falling and allows us to use our calf muscles easier to power our body forward.

Stride out. Try to cover at least twelve inches with each stride. Also pay attention to keep right foot stride and left foot stride even.

Keep feet parallel. Keeping our feet parallel will insure lower body musculature is able to work at full power.

Knees should be pointing forward. Pay attention to not twist knees in, out or sideways.

Keep hips facing forward. To walk more efficiently don’t rotate the pelvis with each step. Instead focus on swinging legs in a forward direction.

Belly button should be held in tight. Pulling the belly button in tight should be done without holding the breath. Doing so, helps us maintain proper upright posture.

Keep hands open. Clenching our fists will only waste energy and cause us to raise our shoulders up adding tension to our neck.

Pull shoulders down and back. Pinching our shoulder blades together slightly will force our shoulders into a back and down position.

Power arms forward or back. Keeping our arms moving forward and band, not in a side to side motion is the most efficient method to maintain a fast walking pace.

Chin should be parallel to the floor. Keeping our chin parallel to the floor, instead of tilted up will ease neck tension and allow our arms to move forward and back easier.

Head should be lifted with eyes looking straight ahead. When we are looking down the entire time, the tendency is to hunch our shoulders forward and curl our back forward as well. Both of these posture positions can add strain to our lower back and neck.