Walking is the perfect start to a healthy lifestyle. It is simple to do and requires very little, if any, extra equipment. A pair of decent sneakers and comfortable, breathable clothing is really all you need to get started. You can start at your own pace and increase the intensity when you are ready. It is perfect for beginners.
Using Your Arms
Proper positioning of your arms can make a huge difference in the quality of your walking workout. It can burn five to ten percent more calories. It also helps to keep your endurance up to walk a longer amount of time. There are just a couple of things to remember as you walk to make sure you get the most out of the effort you put into it.
- Make sure you are walking with proper posture. Straight back, shoulders at ease, tummy tucked, you want to feel like a string is being slightly pulled toward the sky from the top of your head.
- Hold your arms at a 90 degree angle close to your body. You want to be comfortable so don't tuck them to close, just naturally close to your body.
- Do not clench your fists. Walk with a loosely closed fist.
- Do not allow your hands to swing across your body. This puts your body out of balance and can cause injury.
- Swing your arms back and forth at your sides at about a 45 degree angle.
- Your feet should be placed straight forward and never diagonally.
- Do not look down in front of your path but a short distance ahead.
Walking with your hands straight down can cause discomfort. The blood vessels in your hands expand and can cause a numbness and swelling. Often elevating your hands above your head for a few moments will aid in alleviating the discomfort. Also while walking, occasionally clasp your hands closed and then open them a few times to ensure proper blood flow.
Walking has a very low injury rate. Injuries do occasionally occur anytime you are exercising. Proper posture and using the correct stride will decrease the likeliness of many injuries. When walking correctly you are able to walk for a greater distance because your body doesn't get fatigued as easily. Using your arms in the correct way helps to burn calories and propel your body to a faster walk, which increases intensity. Practice makes perfect so next time you walk think about how you are using your arms to make your walking more efficient.