Power walk safety tips for good health
Walking is one of the best and easiest exercises to do for good health. Turning a regular paced walk into a power walk will increase energy and metabolism to burn more calories as well as help you to maintain or lose weight, aid digestion and boosts the immune system. Learn how to power walk without causing injury to joints, tendons and muscles for the most benefits so that you can continue it for the best health.
Difficulty: Moderately Easy
Things You'll Need:
Safe area to walk
Good walking shoes
Walking shoes are important for a power walk
To make sure not to have an injury during a power walk, first get a good pair of sturdy walking shoes with great support, comfort, correct fit that are made for fitness. Get a proper fitting from a professional shoe store for the best fit possible.
Do a calf stretch before you begin
Before beginning to power walk, be sure to add five minutes of stretching first to loosen and lengthen the muscles. This will help to prevent injury, cramping, stiffness and soreness. Do several leg and calf stretches and hold to the count of 10. Simply bend and touch the toes for a good hamstring stretch, holding to the count of 10. If unable to touch the toes, hold onto the ankles instead.
Stretch the legs
Be sure to deep breathe properly during each stretch to help oxygen reach the muscles. Deep breathing will also aid in reducing injury, stiffness, cramping and soreness to the joints and muscles. Stretch the legs by holding one ankle and bend at the knee pulling the ankle towards the buttocks for a good stretch. Repeat on both legs.
Follow power walk safety tips
Once the stretching is completed, start to walk. Choose a safe neighborhood or park for the power walk. Walk as briskly as possible without getting winded or hurting muscles. It may be necessary to start slowly and work up your pace if you've not been walking for exercise. Always keep safety in mind, stay focused on your walk and your surroundings. Keep your cell phone and pepper spray (see my favorite below) with you at all times. Better to be safe than sorry.
Hydrate your muscles
Drink water before, during and after the power walk to prevent dehydration, replace lost fluids and to reduce the likelihood of injuring joints and muscles. Try my favorite filtered water bottle below and keep it full for your next walk or run.
Use a treadmill if unable to head outdoors
Power walk as long as possible. Starting with a 5 minute power walk will be better than not doing it at all. Just stick with it and each time it should become easier. Remember that anything done for at least 30 days more easily becomes a habit. Power walking is a healthy habit that your body will thank you for if done correctly. During inclement weather, keep up the pace on the treadmill to keep the momentum going and to help you get into better shape.
Add a new route such as a nature trail
Increase the duration each time, preferably daily if possible for the most benefits. This will increase endorphins and endurance and make it easier each time. Try adding a new route with a hill or through a park to make it more enjoyable, it increases the intensity as well as encourages the use of different muscles. This way you'll see the results much faster.
Stretching is important
End each walk with another 5 minutes of stretching. Stretching after your exercise is just as important as doing it before you start to exercise. Avoiding this step will cause an increased likelihood of soreness, cramping and stiffness, preventing you to want to repeat the process. These steps will help to prevent injury during this effective exercise and increase overall health and fitness and you'll find that the more you do it the more you'll want to - find a buddy!
Tips & Warnings
Start slowly with a walking program and work into a more intense power walk, you'll be surprised at how great you will feel with a fit and healthy body
Almost everyone is able to start these easy exercise program that can be increased to include more intensity, to burn calories, to tone the body and to improve overall fitness
Take a break if feeling overly winded and unable to carry on a normal conversation
Power walking burns calories and aids digestion, so try it 20 minutes after a meal
Ask a medical professional before beginning any exercise program, although most doctors will encourage you to begin your exercise program
Stop if pain results, rest and drink fluids before continuing
Carry a Water Filter Bottle
Holds 20 oz of filtered drinking water to keep hydrated
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Track your steps with my favorite Pedometer
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(price as of Jun 28, 2014)