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If you are intimidated by the very thought of exercise but understand its importance in your life, walking may just be the very thing for you. Walking offers a full body work out and carries various health benefits.

However, in order to reap the full benefits of walking, you have to understand there are techniques of walking 'correctly' and as a form of exercise, it requires a certain level of awareness and planning.

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By 'correct' walking we mean that your steps should be normal and evenly spaced apart and your pace should pick up gradually. Your body should be relaxed and straight, your arms swinging naturally to the rhythm of your body and your breathing should be calm and even.

Benefits of walking: Some useful tips

  • Make sure you have comfortable shoes that don't put pressure on your knees/pinch your feet.
  • Dress comfortably in track pants and suitable outer wear. Make sure you are wearing something bright that reflects light in the dark if you are walking in the dark.
  • Carry a phone at all times.
  • Do not have any valuables on you and do not walk in deserted areas.
  • Do not listen to your mp3 in high traffic areas.

Benefits of walking: A full work out for your body and mind

  • It helps you lose weight
  • It helps lower bad cholesterol
  • It helps combat issues like mood swings, depression, and insomnia.
  • It helps strengthen your immune system.
  • It helps stimulate an underactive thyroid, improving its performance.
  • It helps tone your muscles, particularly your leg muscles.
  • It helps strengthen your bones and prevents osteoporosis

There are different types of walking techniques including trekking and Nordic walking. Trekking is more of a walking excursion and is normally done in scenic settings. A greater amount of planning is required for trekking as opposed to a more casual walk in the neighbourhood. Similarly, nordic walking also requires more from us than a normal walk; it is done with the use of poles where you push the poles down with each stride that you take. Clearly, this technique of walking requires some skills and a lot of people takes lessons to get it right. Nordic walking can be done in mountainous regions as well as your friendly neighbourhood park.

Both these techniques offer the very best of the benefits of walking. They exercise your body and elevate your mind, busting stress like very few other activities can!

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