Pace Yourself to a Healthier You

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You can’t deny it running is a great way to keep fit, but is walking better for you?

So many of us go running. Just walking home from work you see people of all shapes and sizes pounding the pavements to keep fit. Mums out pram jogging is now a regular sight and lots of people run for charity with around 35,000 runners participating in the London Marathon each year – impressive I know! Even the celebrities get their trainers out to hit the pavement.

Running has many health benefits including helping you to lose weight, improving cardiovascular fitness, lifting your mood and building self-esteem. It is also said to help boost your brain power by increasing blood flow to the brain, so perhaps we shouldn’t be thinking all these lunch time office runners are crazy.

However many of us will have suffered sore knees or a bad back after a good training session. These injuries, including “Runners Knee”, Hamstring issues and Achilles pain can affect anyone from beginners whose muscles are not used to running to experienced runners. You should always seek advice on how to recover properly as not to do further damage. A lot of advice will include rest meaning a break from fitness.

So why don’t we all drop the pace a little, still lace up those trainers and get walking.

Walking is as good as running with regards to health benefits. It has been found that it is just as good at reducing the risk of heart disease, lowering the risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.

Walking is better for the spine than running, putting less stress on the discs, which receive more minerals and vitamins too from the pumping action of walking. As power walking is a lower impact sport, it generally does place less strain on your body and joints. Great news for those knees too!

Results wise, you can see them reasonably quickly from walking. A 30 minute power-walk can burn on average 150kcal, obviously depending on the individual. It’s a great way to work on your legs, glutes, and abs if you adopt the correct walking style.

The only downside is you will have to walk further for the same outcome of running, but how about adding the social side.

Walking can be a social addition to your week. Grab a friend and have a natter, you won’t even realize you’re exercising. You could even join a walking scheme and meet new people with a similar interest.

If you make it an enjoyable part of the week, you won’t even notice the time fly by, and you’ll soon be gaining the same outcomes as you would from running, whilst also protecting your joints and keeping your body in tip top condition.

150 minutes is the recommended time of moderate intensity exercise we should do every week to keep fit. So why not check out your walking style, grab your trainers and head this evening to start yours.

 

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