Therese Iknoian, exercise physiologist and fitness author, swears by walking. Here are her 4 reasons to get walking.
“We push, pull and pound ourselves silly trying to find the shortest, fastest way to fitness and health, and all the time the best vehicle to achieve this is right at our feet. Because we learn the basics as toddlers we feel it can’t be enough to pump up our heart and lungs, help us lose fat, tone muscle and put the bounce in our step,” says Iknoian.
The sheer simplicity of walking is possibly the key to our own lack of inclination. When you don’t have to splash out on gym equipment, pay an expensive membership fee, or buy a whole new wardrobe of fitness clothes, you get the feeling that it can’t work. But work it does and the list of benefits is an impressive one…
1. Your shape changes Even if you keep your eating habits the same, a good walking workout (about 45 minutes, four times a week) will burn around 630+ kilojoules a time and lose you over 6kg in a year. Harness your routine to a healthy eating regime and you’ll start seeing amazing changes.
2. Your heart gets stronger Walking for 20 – 30 minutes three times a week increases the strength of your heart and lungs, which makes you fit enough to increase your exercise routine and in turn your ability to make everyday stuff – like working, sleeping and having fun – a whole lot easier.
3. Your legs look fabulous Leg muscles get a truly awe-inspiring workout from walking, especially the calves and ankles, thighs and right up to the bottom. Arms, shoulders and back get attention too if you add the right kind of arm swing.
4. Your body gets fitter Walking is a great heart pumper and fat burner, but it doesn’t make you as flexible as yoga or Pilates buffs. Slot some stretches into your routine and those hard-working muscles won’t tighten, you’ll stay limber and loose and you’ll also reduce the possibility of injury.