Fitness walking is a great way to improve your overall fitness, health and wellness — and people at all fitness levels can do it. Like all other exercises, using proper form ensures maximum benefit and reduces your chance of exercise-related injuries.
Fitness walking is based on race-walking and can be done outdoors or on a treadmill at the gym or in your own home. Before you start, get fitted with the proper shoes. The right shoe, with the right fit, will make the most of your walking workout and limit aches and pains.
- With your toes in the air, your heel should make first contact with the ground.
- Roll your foot forward in a smooth motion.
- Your toes are the last part of your foot to touch the ground.
- Push off with your toes to give you forward momentum.
- Bend your elbows at 90-degrees.
- Keep your hands loose or in a loose grip.
- Keep your shoulders relaxed.
- Keep your elbows close to your body.
- Swing your arms in a forward motion.
- Swing your arms in sync with your stride. Left foot forward means right arm swings forward.
- Hips should be in neutral - not thrust forward or pushed back.
- Rotate your hips as you walk.
- As your right leg moves forward, your right hip should rotate forward.
- Keep the movement natural — not stiff.
Why walk? The reasons are boundless:
- Control your weight
- Live longer
- Improve your mood
- Keep your bones and muscles strong
- Decrease your risk of heart attack and stroke
- Keep your blood pressure in check
Fitness walking is fun and easy to do. Just follow these simple steps to step-up your walk.
Important note: Before starting any exercise program, speak to your doctor if you haven’t exercised in a while or have never exercised.