If you’re planning to incorporate walking into your daily routine, you might ask yourself a few questions: Is walking good for health? Is walking a good sport for me? Don’t worry. You’ll find all your answers here.
Whether you are a beginner or an expert, below you’ll find a list of the pros and cons of walking and also some simple tips to help you do it the right way!
Pros of Walking
Walking is a simple gesture whose benefits are no longer to be proven. Practicing regularly, at least 30 minutes a day, and ideally aiming for 10,000 steps a day will benefit you in the following ways:
- It allows you to resume physical activity gently. With its low intensity, walking is the most basic, natural, and gentle exercise.
- It helps you overcome a sedentary lifestyle. Practicing between 30 minutes and 1 hour of ordinary walking per day can effectively fight against the consequences of a sedentary lifestyle (obesity, diabetes, back problem, etc.).
- It improves cardiovascular health and breathing. Regular walking strengthens your heart and cardiovascular system. It, therefore, allows you to develop respiratory capacities by helping to breathe better.
- It preserves the joints and relieves the back. Ordinary walking is a gentle exercise that does not require a shock to the joints. Also, it is recommended to adopt a good posture to take full advantage of the benefits of walking to strengthen the back and preserve the joints.
- It promotes muscle and bone strengthening. Walking gently tones and builds muscle. It works mainly on the lower limbs and the trunk.
- It relieves stress and improves the quality of sleep. Walking helps to reduce the factors contributing to sleep disorders (stress, anxiety, depression, etc.).
- It allows you to enjoy the benefits of daylight. Walking outside and exposing yourself to daylight helps prevent the blues and depressive symptoms, but that’s not all. Regular walking outside helps maintain your vitamin D intake, especially in winter.
Cons of Walking
Walking does not really have any contraindications. Unlike running, it does not involve traumatic shocks. This major difference with running helps preserve the joints and limit trauma and injuries. However, if not done the right way or doing a lot, like more than 10,000 steps a day, you can experience the following inconveniences:
- Shin pain
- Joint problems (ankle and knees)
- Stress fractures
With some simple tips, you can avoid these inconveniences.
Useful Tips for Walking
Keep the Right Posture
Even if ordinary walking remains a natural gesture, do not miss:
- to keep a straight posture of the spine
- to have relaxed shoulders and arms
- to roll the foot naturally from heel to toe
- adopt natural breathing
- to bring you a good pair of comfortable and light shoes that will allow you to protect your heel while accompanying the movement of the natural rolling of the foot
Know When and How to Walk
Ordinary walking, or healthy walking differs from Nordic walking, or brisk walking, by its slower pace, which is between 5 and 6 km/h. Less long and intense than hiking, it is the walk you adapt during your journeys and trips to the office or the metro.
Don’t Walk Too Much!
Do not walk too much, exceeding the ideal 10,000 steps a day. Fitness bands and pedometers help you with this. These gadgets tell you how many steps you take each day and your heart rate and other features.
Avoid Walking at Night
Do not walk after it gets dark. However, if it is your preferred time, do not forget to equip yourself properly for a night walk, such as reflective clothing, a headlamp, etc.
Take dietary supplements that are good for joints to prevent injury and the onset of other joint problems. Some of the best herbal supplements to complement your walking include
- devil’s claw tincture or capsules due to the presence of antioxidants, phenols, vitamins, and minerals, among other nutrients
- turmeric capsules or tincture as it is rich in curcumin (an active ingredient with anti-inflammatory properties)
- supplements rich in Omega 3 fatty acids as they help relieve sensitive joints prone to chronic inflammation
- Vitamin D supplements