Walking has been our main form of transport, since… Well the day we could first walk. Sure it can be pleasurable and enjoyable, but it is strange to think that walking has become one of the #1 fitness trends worldwide.
Why you ask? Because walking has been taken beyond a means of getting from A to B, it has become a diverse and challenging way of increasing your strength, stamina and overall health, whilst enjoying the outdoors and exploring our beautiful planet.
Health Benefits Of Walking
Walking has many health benefits, both physically and mentally, that range from obvious toning and weight loss, to encouraging a sense of well-being. Some of these health benefits include:
- Increased cardiovascular and pulmonary health
- Helps manage high blood pressure, high cholesterol and decreases risk of heart attack or stroke
- Increases muscular strength, flexibility and endurance
- Supports healthy bones and joints
- Burns calories and supports healthy weight
- Releases endorphin and encourages well being
- Reduces stress
Here are some of the most popular walking based fitness activities that are trending worldwide:
This activity involves walking with a weighted pack on your back, and has been utilized as a fitness building activity in the US army since the American Revolution. Fantastic for increasing strength, stamina and endurance as well as burning calories fast, this activity can basically be done anywhere. To increase the benefits of this practice, try rucking on soft sand or on a hilly path, as this will get your muscles burning and your heart pumping even faster!
Nordic walking is a safe yet effective way of burning calories and getting out and about in the fresh air. Utilizing walking poles that actually engage the whole body in the walking process, Nordic walking can be performed in virtually any type of terrain.
Why not incorporate your fitness with a charity based event. Held all around the country at different times in the year, charity walks cater for the casual stroller and the adventurists alike! Most of these allow you to complete them in any way you prefer (walk, power walk, race walk, jog or run!). So grab a group of friends together, or head out on your walk to meet some, and get fit for a cause!
This fun, treasure hunt style, activity has become popular worldwide, with many treasure locations located near you! Take the kids, or a friend, pack a picnic and see how many you can discover in a day.
I know this doesn’t sound particularly exciting or different, but soft sand walking provides a whole new set of health benefits. For starters it’s harder! Your muscles have to work to balance you and adjust to the varying support of the sand beneath. Try walking a few miles on the hard sand then a few on the soft sand and you will see the difference. So if you are keen to tone those buns, soft sand beach walking could be just what you need. Not to mention the beautiful scenery that goes with it!
This is a style of walking more that an activity, however surprisingly when done correctly; power walking can burn the same amount of calories as jogging (and potentially more if done correctly). It also has the added benefit of increased toning of your core, buttocks and legs. It can be done anywhere and has the added benefit of not requiring any equipment. However you can always challenge yourself by incorporating weights into your power walk.
Like power walking, this is really more of a style of walking rather than an activity, however this style of walking is actually recognized as a disciplined athletic activity and is included in the Olympic Games!