BEFORE AND AFTER
Always warm up before you exercise and cool down afterwards. Try any or all of the following:
- Marching - Stomp up and down on the spot briskly for two minutes.
- Arm stretching - Shrug your shoulders a couple of times and stretch your arms over your head.
- Knee lifts - Raise each knee to meet the alternate elbow, keeping your feet and thighs parallel to the floor. Repeat twice.
- Hamstring curls - Bring your heels up to your bum and hold - you should feel the stretch in the front of your thigh. Repeat twice.
Experts say you should aim to walk for 45 minutes a day, five times a week, to gain the optimum benefits from walking for exercise.
It is thought that people who do this are likely to be sick with colds for a lesser amount of time compared to people who do not walk regularly.
Scientists believe that this could be because walking may help to prime your bodies immune system, preparing it to fight disease before the first sniffle is even felt.
BEST WAY TO START
If you haven't done much exercise recently, build up your walking slowly - too much all at once can leave you tired, with aching legs and muscles.
Start each walk with a light stretch to make sure you don't put unnecessary strain on your muscles and joints, and walk for 15 minutes twice a week.
Gradually build up, alternately increasing the frequency or duration each week.
THE PERFECT POSTURE
- Walk tall - Lift your chest, keep your shoulders back, holding your abs, relax and breathe deeply.
- every 10-15 minutes. You're bound to feel thirsty when you get back, so drink as much water as you need.
You could also try the Super Workout & Recovery Juice featured on our healthy eating page. The ingredients are specifically selected to provide vital nutrients that are lost when working out.
- Don't walk on an empty stomach - It is important not to walk on an empty stomach but also equally important not to walk directly after food as well. Be sure to wait at least a couple of hours after a big meal before you walk. If you're hungry beforehand, eat a banana (or have the Super Workout & Recovery Juice) to keep your energy levels up.
SPEED IT UP
To get the most from your walking workout, you need to raise your heart rate. Try the talk test - you should be able to say the odd sentance as you walk, but if you're able to conduct a conversation then you're not walking fast enough.