Is Walking Enough?

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Is Walking Enough?
(Last Updated On: December 7, 2016)

As a physiotherapist, I come across people of all age groups and from all walks of life. In reply to my question, ‘do you exercise regularly?’, I usually get told ‘I go for a walk’. This is a reply I often get from young, otherwise healthy people like you and me. But is walking really the right exercise you need? Moreover, really is walking enough

Walking, for most people is an almost-leisurely stroll around the park while they catch up with their friends or gossip on the phone. A walk can only be considered an aerobic exercise if the pace is brisk. When I say brisk walking, I mean you should be unable to complete a sentence while walking due to shortness of breath. So, if your walk around the park includes a healthy session on gossip, please reconsider whether this constitutes your hour of exercise.

Walking
Walking

A walk can be considered an appropriate exercise for an elderly individual, someone recovering from a long and debilitating illness or an extremely unfit individual looking to make lifestyle changes. It will also suffice as an exercise for a healthy young individual on the ‘cardio’ provided they maintain a healthy pace for atleast 40 minutes.

For healthy young adults, while walking is better than sitting glued to the computer, it is in no way sufficient for them to feel the real benefits of exercise or help them meet fitness goals. If you really enjoy your walks, please continue, but add some more workouts to compliment your exercise routine.

 

Exercise Routines that can compliment your walk:

  1. Intersperse your walk with short sprints. For example, in a 40 min walk, you can add 1 minute sprints every ten minutes. As time progresses, increase the time spent running or run more frequently during your walk. This will give you a very efficient cardio work out and also improve your heart rate in the long run.
  2. Do a few yogasanas before and after your workout. Suryanamaskar is a great example. It not only stretches the relevant muscles, it also makes you more flexible. Additionally, you can do few fast pace Suryanamskars before your walk as a warm-up and a few slow ones post the walk as a cool down. It will ensure you don’t get stiff and keep things interesting.
  3. For those with more ambitious fitness goals, alternate your walk with a session at the gym for weight training. Weight training is the best way to tone as well as build muscles. Weight training helps to strengthen bones, muscles as well as the heart and has numerous other benefits as well. In case going to the gym is difficult, weight training can be done at home by effectively using your own body weight, gravity and a few light weights.
  4. If you’re looking to have some fun, alternate or replace your walks with group exercises. Join an aerobic, step or dance class. In addition to giving you an effective cardio workout, these will stimulate your mind, improve your co-ordination and keep you motivated.

 

So, in answer to the question, walking is very rarely enough. There are a lot of other options out there. Consult a physiotherapist or a fitness trainer, set your goals and find the exercise that works the best for you!

 

8 COMMENTS

  1. I am from kolkata and am 26yrs age , I have been jogging since last 6-7yrs since last month i started feeling pain in my knee so I stopped jogging and as one of my homeo doc said to take rest and gave a homeo medicine for and along with that asked me to take calcium tablets, I am a vegetarian, what shall i do. I am thinking to start walking again not jog for the time being

    • Lav, there can be n number of reasons behind your knee pain. The best advice can be provided once a health professional, preferably a physiotherapist has had a chance to assess you. While it is a good idea to test your capacity by starting a brisk walk, the chances are the pain will crop up again if you try to run. In this situation, ideally you should contact a physical therapist, find and rectify the root cause of your problem and strengthen the relevant muscles to enable you to run again. Portea currently has a good physiotherapy presence in Kolkata and we will be happy to help you, should you reach out to us.
      Do let us know if we can be of any assistance.

      • Can u provide me good physio therapist in Kolkata. Plz contact 9831554491 i want to get more details about it. It would be a great help..

    • Lav,

      Visit a doctor at least once and make sure there is no injury to joints before you start jogging.

      Few tips from the net that helped from net.

      1. Get a shoe of perfect size with proper coushing.
      2. Tie shoe propert. If its too tight or too loose it can cause pain.
      3. Most important “Do not run on hard surface. e.g. Cemented surface or tiled surface.”, major reason for joints pain.
      4. Keep the torso straight while running. Don’t lean forward
      5. Don’t stick hands to chest. Take enough push from shoulder.
      6. Look straight, it will help you breathe better.

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