Ready to Turbocharge Your Walk?
By Sandy Schroeder
Many of us count on walking to keep us healthy, but why not make it even more effective? Cardiologist Dr. Aaron Baggish suggests fast-paced walking. He says, “It’s a great way to get the most exercise bang for your buck.”
Fast-paced walking simply means you speed up and slow down at regular intervals while you are walking. Cardiologists say the bursts of speed help the body lose weight, develop endurance, and lower blood pressure.
Before you start fast-paced walking, get your doctor’s approval, and make sure you have a solid walking routine of 20 to 30 minutes a day in place, walking at least five days a week. Walk with a buddy for safety, and carry a cellphone in case of accidents. Also, do a five-minute warm-up and cool-down.
As you begin fast-paced walking, go slowly. Do one or two fast-paced one- or two-minute bursts in a 30-minute walk for a few weeks. These bursts should be walking as fast as you comfortably can.
Gradually, add more bursts into your walking with the ultimate goal of walking fast about 50 percent of the time. These can be one or two minutes on, and one or two off, weaving the bursts through your walking.
Watch Where You Walk
With walking bursts it will be important to choose a hazard-free path, avoiding rough terrain or traffic. Grass and dirt are also softer if you fall.
The treadmill is also a good alternative, simply cranking up the speed to do interval bursts.
Wear a watch to time your bursts of speed, and consider driving your route to measure the distance in miles. Or you could use landmarks to measure your speed.
The Assets of Walking
Overall, walking 20 minutes a day, has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease by as much as 30 percent. It is also proven to lower blood pressure and cholesterol, lift the mood, and cut the risk of cancer and diabetes.
All you need is a pair of sneakers and you are good to go at home, at the office, or when you travel. If you carry an extra pair in the car, you can walk as you wait to pick up your kids, or wait for other appointments.
I have watched many relatives follow this path, and many of them lived active lives into their nineties. That’s hard to beat.
To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Seal Beach, Calif.