Walking is the most basic, but important way to stay fit. But most of us don’t give much thought to how we walk or whether we should improve the way we walk. However, walking correctly helps to prevent back, hip, neck, and leg pain and injury risk while also promoting good posture, strong bones, increased balance, and stability. Besides, it promotes weight loss and can even help you slow down ageing. Just follow these ways to walk to reap these benefits.
Can walking keep you young?
Even though walking is one of the most underappreciated exercises, it targets every part of your body from head to toe. You should be aware that walking can tighten your skin, aid in weight loss, improve blood circulation, boost energy levels, and lower your risk of developing a number of chronic conditions, all of which can help you stay youthful.
Health Shots got in touch with Sonia Bakshi, nutritionist and a fitness expert at DtF (Dance to Fitness), to find out the ways to improve walking which can help in slowing down ageing and keeping your body and mind young.
Here are the top 5 ways to walk to slow down ageing, suggested by Bakshi:
1. Alternate your speed
To make the most of your walking, keep switching between moderate and vigorous pace. Your body will be put to the test, your heart rate will rise, and you’ll burn more calories when you walk in this way. Start with adding 20 seconds of high pace in between your regular walking pace and gradually increase the duration. Keep listening to your body and slow down when body asks you to.
2. Carry light hand weights and/or wear ankle weights
A workout that is not challenging enough, is not even worth doing. Walking is already an easy task for most people. Therefore, you must step up your game and incorporate some difficult features if you want to reap the most rewards. Switching to a power walk, which involves walking while carrying small weights or wearing ankle weights, is an excellent approach to do this.
This will push your body to work a little harder and you will end up building more muscle and hence slow down ageing. Make sure you do not overdo with the weights, as it can lead to a neck or shoulder or back injury.
3. Always use stairs
The benefits of walking can also be derived to some extent by monitoring our walks during the day – such as at work or while shopping at the mall. One helpful tip is to take the stairs whenever possible instead of using any escalators or elevators. Also, park your car far away when you go for your daily shopping.
4. Take more than one walk
Try to incorporate at least two walks per day. Your absolute minimum to slow down ageing should be 30 minutes. Add two 10-minute light walks—one before lunch and one in the morning. A light walk after eating can decrease the body’s insulin and blood sugar levels.
5. Take your dog for a walk
This is the one for you if you have a dog. Simply take your dog for enjoyable walks in the park every day without having to make any special plans. They will enjoy the free space and the physical activity. You can also take a break to play fetch or stretch out. There are great chances that your dog will make you run here and there, increasing your heart rate and improving your mood. If you do not have a pet at home, see if your friend or a neighbour does and you can go for a happy evening walk.