Here is another exercise designed to keep you out of a gym. In fact walking away from the gym and putting as much distance as possible between you and it is good.
Good old fashioned walking is still one of the best keep fit activities there is. This is what the Human frame was originally designed for. That design has not changed – our lifestyle has! The experts tell us that to keep fit a healthy body should take ten thousand steps a day for a woman and for a man it should be twelve thousand steps. How many of us complete anything like that many in an average day? To give you an idea of how many steps that is, if you walk briskly with a slightly lengthened step, you will make thirty every fifteen seconds, sixty every half minute, one hundred and twenty every minute and a half hour energetic walk will give you three thousand five hundred toward your target.
The best time to walk is early morning which, in addition to being invigorating, enables you to enjoy the freshness of the air, Natures’ sounds of the coming day and of course you know that you will not be sharing it with too many other folks – so a good time to think and make plans for your day.
Where to walk? Well, once again, I’m sure our ‘maker’, when designing our extremely complex body, did not have concrete in mind! Because for the remainder of the day you will probably be walking on hard surfaces, for your health’s sake take your morning walk on a grassy surface or, if you live by the sea, walk on sand. Sand is the best surface ever. Because of its giving nature it works many more muscles in your legs – giving your legs a better workout. If you are lucky enough to be walking on sand, please please take off your footwear and walk barefoot. Feel the sand on the soles of your feet, the sea water around your toes and ankles and revel in Natures free gifts. And remember, as we are all children of Mother Earth, she likes to kiss the soles of our feet when she can.
If you study other people walking you will see many banging their heels into the ground as they walk. The resulting jarring effect up the spine from this heel contact is huge and over a lifetime can contribute to spinal and back problems. Take your weight forward just a little and lengthen your step slightly so you can feel the tension in your lower back muscles as your leg reaches the end of its travel. You will also find this takes weight off your heels and reduces the impact with the ground. Slightly spring off the balls of your feet. This will help to stretch and flex those long muscles at the back of your thighs and calves and strengthen your lower back muscles in the process. Practice this and you will find that your walking will become smoother, more comfortable, graceful and much more enjoyable. You will also find that that little spring in your step will produce more energy and create a better feeling of well being in you.
Back to how many steps you would take in a day. Technology can be of assistance here in that you can buy a pedometer which will register every step you take. You can buy one that registers your steps only, for a few dollars, or you can go all the way and get one that tells you how many calories you have burned and what you had for breakfast for around thirty dollars. Whichever one you get, you strap it to your waist band for the day and it will tell you exactly how many steps you have made. It is a great motivating tool in that it encourages you to find additional ways to add more steps to your daily routine.
For example, park your car further from the shops, park in the parking spot farthest from the supermarket (this also reduces the possibility of contact from other vehicles and shopping trolleys), take the steps instead of the escalator, walk down to the corner store, meet a friend and walk with them, join a walking club. These are all incentives to walk more and once they become a habit you will find that you will increase your daily number of steps quite easily, ultimately reach your target and of course, gain all the health benefits that will accrue – you will be amazed at how your fitness increases and how much better you will feel. So, get walking and enjoy.