Walking is a great way to achieve a toned and healthy body.
Did you know that you can burn 250-300 calories an hour walking at a normal pace?
I use MapMyWalk on my phone and on average I walk at 4.5kms per hour (2.8 miles per hour).
In just about less than 2 hours I can burn 500 calories (which is more or less the equivalent of the same amount of time in a yoga class, 1 hour Zumba class or 45 minutes skipping/ running/ circuit training).
Walking as a Way to Keep Slim
After years of struggling trying to make myself like exercise (I tried!) and realising that organised sports are not for me, I have decided on walking at least 5 kms EVERY DAY, rain or shine. I will make a point of running daily errands or not use the bus just to clock up enough kilometers each day.
Using an app to track what I do has also made me realise how much I need to work to burn off the food I am taking each day. I completely underestimated the effort it takes!
As I am an advocate of injury prevention, I am extremely aware of my posture, gait and foot positioning. For example, to get an all-over body workout you can pull in your abdominal muscles and swing your arms vigorously.
To prevent ankle and knee pain I pay particular attention at the way I place my feet on the floor and try as much as I can to avoid getting distracted. Distraction is the main cause of injuries and accidents.
You can avoid knee pain by having your gait looked at either by a professional like a physiotherapist or at a shop for runners and trekkers.
People normally fall into two categories: those who supinate and those who pronate their feet.
- Supination is when you put most of your body weight onto the external edge of your foot – you can check this by looking at how you wear out the soles of your shoes. A worn out outer edge indicates supination. I supinate and therefore I mostly feel tension in the outside of my legs (my ITB or ilio-tibial tract gets rather tight)
- Pronation is when you put most of your body weight onto your big toe and internal edge of your foot. You wear out the inner edge of the soles of your shoes and tend to suffer from tension in your inner legs.
You can wear insoles to re-calibrate your gait but also you can do yoga exercises and walk barefoot with intention. By walking with intention I mean really analysing the way you walk and position your feet and make dynamic adjustments as you go along.
I am a big believer of “slow and steady” rather than “quick fix” approaches. Walking allows you to meditate or at least evaluate the day’s problems or issues you need to address as well as provides you with a low-impact form of exercise that you can practice all through your life and into your old age.