Walk Your Way to Fitness
Here at Hip and Healthy we often talk about our love of running. But let’s just slow the pace down a bit and shine a light on the health benefits of walking. Did you know that you can burn around 300 calories on an hour’s power walk? Plus it’s better on your knees and can provide an all over body workout depending on how much effort you put in. Defined, toned legs are just one of the healthy side effects, along with decreased stress levels, increased fitness and a boost in your happy hormone serotonin. Here are three ways to walk your way to fitness…
Buy a good pair of walking boots
Whether your rambling across hills in the countryside or replacing your daily commute with a new set of wheels (your feet!) buying a good pair of walking boots could be one of the best things you do for your health. Look for boots that match the route you’ll be taking. If you are in the country then you might need more stability and ankle support (watch out for those rabbit holes). If you are thinking of upping your mileage in the city then something that absorbs the shock of a flat, hard surface will help ease the impact from your knees. We suggest asking an expert at www.blacks.com to make sure you choose the right boot for you.
Embrace a new walking trend
There are plenty of new trends out there, but one that has caught our eye is Nordic Walking, which is about explode in popularity any minute now. Nordic Walking, also called Pole Walking, involves applying force to your poles (a bit like ski poles) with each stride you do and therefore gives more of an all-over body workout. It is estimated that Nordic Walking increases energy consumption by 46% when compared to normal walking. Susie MacLeod, a trained Nordic Walking expert, says the benefits are endless “in addition to working your legs, you are experiencing a full range of motion that engages the abdominals, arms, shoulders, upper chest and back muscles.” It can also be really sociable as you can chat as you go. Top tip: Why not suggest a quick ramble with a friend instead of coffee next time you want a catch up.
Incorporate walking into your daily life
If you are an early riser why not set your alarm half an hour even earlier to go for a quick pre-breakfast stroll. Keep your walking boots somewhere you will see them when you wake up as you are more likely to go. Or can your walk be part of your commute? In which case keep your walking boots by the front door for added motivation. Or if you get restless in the afternoon then maybe a walk in your lunch break will do you a bit of good? If that is the case, pop your walking boots under your desk. Make sure that whatever your intentions are, your walking boots act as a gentle reminder and you are more likely to follow through with it. It is one of the best tricks in the book.