Lace up for a walk

well-being

Lace up for a walk
Time, duration, place: Choose morning or evening hours for a walk. Night is meant only for a stroll and not for heavy or high intensity walking exercises. A minimum of 30 minutes is suggested, as it helps activate many chemicals and pathways in the body, which change based on the duration of the activity, especially burning fat. It is ideal to walk in open air, as the surroundings are pure and fresh. If you are too lazy to step out, you can make use of a treadmill.

The pre-walk check: Fitting shoes and breathable clothing are recommended to ensure safety and temperature regulation. It is fine to walk on an empty stomach or after consuming light snacks. It is important to have clean bowels and bladder before the regimen to avoid undue stress on the nervous system. To warm up, take slow and steady steps and walk in a comfortable speed.

The right way: Ensure that your soles are placed fully on ground, as you are walking and not running. Load and pressure must be evenly distributed in the body to avoid injuries. Most importantly, your hands must move like in an army march past, as it will help you keep up the momentum of your upper body, and balance the speed and minor muscle tone changes.

Interval training: Change the speed at intervals. An ideal walking speed, on an average, is between 4 to 6 km per hour. Add joint movements in-between to ensure proper circulation and distribution of warmth. Change your walking style by raising the knees up, gentle hopping, reverse walk, side steps, long steps, stationary walk etc. 

The epilogue: Slow down as you reach the set duration and start cooling down. Add some joint movements. Take a few deep abdominal breaths. Hydrate with normal temperature water. An easy way to assess the intensity of your exercise is to check the sweating.

(The author is a CMO of Swami Parmanand Prakritik Chikitsalaya Yoga
& Anusandhan Kendra.)

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