Walking to Improve Fitness
Walking to Improve Fitness, sounds simple enough, but do you really have time to do that? Simple answer is yes, everyone has time to go for a small walk.
Walking is a great way to commute, explore, view the scenery, meet people, exercise and save money all at the same time.
Walking enables independence, and the many health benefits are well documented. A distance of 500 meters can be covered in just 5 or 6 minutes at an average walking speed using an estimated 245 calories per hour.
Wearing a pedometer is an easy way to track your steps each day. Start by wearing the pedometer every day for one week. Put it on when you get up in the morning and wear it until bed time. Record your daily steps in a log or notebook. By the end of the week you will know your average daily steps. You might be surprised how many (or how few) steps you get in each day.
There are many ways to increase your daily steps. Use your imagination and come up with your own list:
- Take a walk with your partner, children, or friends
- Walk the dog
- Use the stairs instead of the elevator
- Park further away from the shops
- Better yet, walk to the shops
- Walk to local mall
- Window shop
- Plan a walking meeting
- Get outside to walk around the garden or do a little weeding
Just start slowly, and build up from there. Not saying to go walk 10km in the first evening, that would really not be the best move.We have found that even walking down to the mall is a good idea, allowing a few hours, bit of browsing round the mall while there, maybe grabbing dinner as well, then walking home works well. Over time this has progressed to walking to the supermarket to grab groceries, nothing like taking an empty school bag there, then carrying it home loaded up, you really feel the workout after that.
Main thing here, is see how simple it, no fancy exercise equipment, no gym memberships – just a good pair of shoes, and the motivation to go get out and do it!!
One of the gadgets that I found personally nice to use at first, was the Garmin Vivofit. These can range from $95-$120 depending on where you purchase it from, and who has sales on at the time.
The Vivofit’s basically a wrist-worn pedometer. It counts steps, tracks distance traveled, shows estimated calories burned, displays how many steps are left towards your daily goal, and tells the time. It also tracks sleep, and can check continuous heart rate when connected with ANT+ wireless heart rate monitors sold separately. If you also sync this with Garmin Connect, you can join challenges with other people worldwide for doing step challenges. This can be a great way to get even more motivated as well.
Keeping track of your activities is a great way to see yourself how you are progressing along.
When I started to track the steps, it was nice weather, and Iw as able to build up to some large numbers, including going up Rapaki Walkway twice once a week over summer time.