I’ve always loved to walk. It’s the ultimate fresh-air, mind-clearing panacea. But, over the last couple of months, my usual fast pace had unwittingly turned into a leisurely stroll. Flip-flops had replaced my walking shoes and the summer sun provided a reasonable excuse to cut my walk short.
Which is fine, if you are walking to, you know — walk, but if you are counting it as a workout, meandering through the neighborhood without a care (or calorie burned) in the world is just not gonna cut it.
Thankfully the exercise gods intervened with an invite from Pam, a new acquaintance, to join her on her morning walk.
We met at the designated corner, dogs in tow; commenced with the usual niceties and took off. Luckily, I had worn a pair of athletic sandals that day for this was not to be my newly acquired sauntering pace.
We covered my normal route in nearly half the time and kept moving. I returned home an hour later, muscles pumped and sweaty. And it felt good — like I had really accomplished something.
The next day we met again, and then again and again.
We can’t always get together, but all it took was one walk with Pam for me to realize how much I had been slacking. I’ve since added time and speed to my daily outing and, once when caught in the rain, fell into a run, and I hate to run!
Thanks to Pam, I’ve regained that missing bounce in my step. I’m back in form and once again hot to trot (thank you, Fit Bottomed Challenge)!
Walk With Confidence: Are You Doing It Right?
Walking is the ultimate low-impact activity. It doesn’t require fancy equipment; even tunes aren’t necessary. When performed with correct posture, it will tighten your core and build muscle in your legs and glutes. Hoofing it just three times a week can help maintain bodyweight and if done daily will burn stored fat. All it takes is a decent pair of shoes and a good friend to show you the way.
Stand tall, with head over shoulders, and shoulders over hips. Your shoulders should be back and down (like when someone slips a piece of ice down your shirt) and your gaze should be straight ahead — about 10 feet in front of you.
Hands should be loosely cupped with arms low and slightly bent. It is not necessary to pump your arms like crazy, let them swing naturally by your sides. Engage your abs and glutes and begin to stride. A short stride will work the glutes more intensely.
Walking with proper technique will help you walk faster and burn more calories. It’s also been proven to boost self esteem and improve mood, happiness and energy levels.
Do you have a walking/workout companion? Pam and I are becoming besties and our dogs love it, too! —Karen