|Castaic Lake in the Fall|
Thursday, February 25, 2016
Lifestyle: Benefits of Walking #lifestyle
I love walking. When I was stationed in Germany during the late 1980’s, early 1990’s, I had an opportunity to participate in the many volksmarches across the nation. A volksmarch (German for “people’s march) is a non-competitive fitness walk. I remember you could do 10K (kilometers) (6.2 miles), 20K or a marathon. It would take me about 2 hours to walk a 10K. There were stops for brotchen and beer and I got to see the “heart” of Germany – quaint, little towns with rich history and architecture. I also had a chance to meet everyday Germans. Most appreciated our presence. I’ll never forget the time my friend, Jerri, and I met 2 men volksmarching. They dared us to guess their age. We said: “50ish.” They were in their 70’s! There was no way they looked a day over 55! They told us they’d been volksmarching all their lives and that’s why they were so young looking.
And that brings me right to my lifestyle topic: the benefits of walking.
Walking invigorates the body, mind, and spirit. A mere 30 minutes a day will work wonders. Walking helps: us to relax, manage stress, improves cardiovascular/heart health, lowers blood pressure, improves mood, improves cholesterol levels.
Now I know why those guys were so young!
A good, beginning walking pace is between 3.1 – 4 mph. Power walking is more recreational. Race walking is for serious athletic walkers/runners. Both require a heel-to-toe technique.
When starting, be mindful of “over striding.” That’s a lengthening of your stride. It’s not as efficient as you think it would be. Instead, use a powerful pushoff. I can honestly say, I’ve started using this technique, going heel-to-toe, keeping to my normal stride, and using a more powerful push off, and I’ve immediately improved my timed walks, cutting down between 1-2 minutes.
STRETCH BEFORE YOU GO!
Before you walk, stretch out. Some focused stretches include calf stretches, a side stretch, a gentle torso twist, quadriceps, and hamstring stretches.
Do I have walk 30 minutes straight?
No, you don’t. If anything, finding time in our busy lives can be challenging. It is for me. I usually go walking on my lunch break at work. Walking 10-15 minutes when you can, a couple of times a day, will give you the same benefits of 30 minutes straight walking.
If you’re a good walker, and looking to “up your game,” then you might consider hiking and incorporating inclines and an uneven terrain, but that’s a topic for another time.
Enjoy your walk!
Question for you: Are you a walker? A hiker? Do you have an exercise you’d like to recommend?
Stephanie Burkhart is a 911 dispatcher for LAPD. She’s published with Desert Breeze, 4RV Publishing and Victory Tales Press.
A POLISH HEART:
Can Sofia’s faith give Darrin his heart back? A sweet, contemporary romance for the spring/Easter season.
5 Stars, Tara Manderino, Amazon Reader, “A totally enjoyable read.”
5 Stars, Nancy Levine, Amazon Reader, “My grandfather was from Poland, but I have never been there, so I enjoyed reading about it as well as the customs about the Easter basket, etc.”
5 Stars, Billie Houston, Amazon Reader, “I love the warm-hearted tale.”
Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/164429Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/a-polish-heart