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Do You Walk for Exercise? Don't Miss These Tips!

By Sara Butler

Did you know that walking is an Olympic sport? It is! It's called race walking and the athletes who participate in this sport can manage to walk a mile in less than six minutes. That may not be your goal when walking for exercise, but using a few things race walkers have learned over the years honing their craft can help you be more efficient and increase your speed, which can help you to meet your health and wellness goals. Here are a few tips to help make your walking workout more effective.

Use Your Back Leg

When you're walking for exercise, one key to helping you get some momentum and keep it going is to push off from your back leg. In other words, your back leg should be doing most of the work.

Remember, walking is a great exercise to build up strength and endurance in your calves and glutes, but you really have to make them work for it. Don't reach in front of you, but push off from behind to really get the most out of it.

Don't Neglect Your Core

You may think walking is all about your legs and hips, but don't forget your core muscles in your abdomen do a lot of work or should do a lot of work, too. Your core helps to keep your body stable and also helps to keep your spine supported as you exercise. Strong muscles in the core will improve your performance and help you to avoid injury, too.

Work on your core with strength training exercises on the days you don't walk. Even something as simple as bridges or planks can help build strength.

Don't Forget Your Arms

Arm position is another common area overlooked by most walkers but is very important nonetheless. If you want to get faster on your walks and go farther, then you need to make sure your arms are engaged in the workout.

You should hold your arms to a 90-degree angle. Doing so will help to power your body to move faster. It's an efficient stance that will help, especially if you plan to transition to running from walking one day.

You don't have to have Olympic dreams to become a better walker for exercise. With these tips, the sky is the limit!

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Greenwood Village, Colo.

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