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Life in Motion

Making the Most of Your Walk

Sports & Exercise

Walking is an excellent way to get some fresh air while improving your health. A brisk walk can improve heart, bone and even mental health. Additionally, walking is a great way to maintain a healthy weight. This is important as excess weight can add stress to your joints, especially weight-bearing joints like the knees and hips. Athletic Trainers in the NEBH Sports Performance Center recommend these tips to make the most out of your walk.

Although any amount of exercise is positive, ideally you will want to walk for at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week. While you walk, keep in mind:

  • Make sure to swing your arms, which can help increase walking speed
  • Keep your head up and look forward rather than down at your feet
  • Try to focus on your posture, avoiding rounded shoulders and leaning forward
  • After your walk, don’t forget to do some gentle stretching to avoid muscle tightness

If you normally walk in your neighborhood, changing up your scenery can help to keep things fresh. In the fall, consider heading to an area with foliage views. Different views may motivate you to walk further than you normally do. For a challenge, try heading to the beach and walking on the sand. Sand provides an unstable surface, which makes it more demanding than walking on solid surfaces. You can also challenge yourself by heading to a hilly area. Walking uphill engages more leg muscles and can help burn more calories.

Don’t skip your walk due to the weather! Mall walking can be great indoor exercise alternative, offering flat and level walking surfaces. Some malls even have outlined walking routes. If you’re looking to work out without pushing through a crowd of shoppers (or to avoid shopping temptation), try heading to the mall in the morning before the stores open.

If you have any health concerns, consult your doctor before beginning a new exercise routine.

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