Why you can use walking for fitness
Regardless of what type of exercise you choose to do you are strengthening and toning your muscles. Walking may seem too simple to really be an effective form of fitness but I assure you, it really can be effective.
Walking tones your muscles and toned muscles burn more calories.
Walking is a cardio activity and as you do cardio activities your heart and lungs work more and become stronger and more efficient in flushing your body with O2 which burns more fat.
It also pumps your muscles and organs with fresh blood supply faster therefore delivering building and healing nutrients.
The more you move the more you will be able to move. Energy creates energy so you will burn more calories during your walk and increase your metabolism so you will be burning calories when you are at rest too.
Walking for exercise
Simple pre-planning can turn your commute into a fitness regime.
When you walk you are releasing endorphins and dopamine, all the feel-good drugs your brain has to offer.
“Walking is man’s best medicine.”
This is a great way to de-stress after a work day. If your job is stressful then just by changing your commute home into a fitness walk both you and your family will benefit from your new relaxed demeanour when you get home.
Walking for fitness isn’t a new idea either. Hippocrates (the medical guy we accredit the Hippocratic Oath) said “Walking is man’s best medicine.”
It is suggested one way to benefit from walking is to purposefully walk a 10,000 steps distance per week. You can measure this out by first figuring out your steps you walk over a specified distance.
Steps in a mile
To figure out how many steps per mile you do the first thing you want to know is your stride. You can do this by measuring out 30 feet on a flat surface and then walk as you normally do from one end to the other, counting your steps along the way.
The equation is the distance divided by the number of steps it takes to cover that distance. So if you walked 12 steps over in that 30 feet your stride is 2.5 feet.
The next step is to figure out your walking pace. So measure out a quarter mile and then walk it. Time yourself from start to finish.
Since the equation is in miles per hour I find it easiest to first convert to minutes because it only took a few minutes to walk the 1/4 mi.
For this example it took 5 min. Assume it would then take 20 min to walk the entire mile. The equation would be;
Using this example means if you walk a quarter mile in five minutes, your speed or walking pace would be 3 miles per hour.
To then figure out how many steps in a mile take the distance in feet of a 1/4 mile which is 1320 feet. Then your measured gait was 2.5 feet per 30 foot measure.
So if there is 5280 feet in a mile and your gait is 2.5 feet then you will walk 2112 steps in each mile.
Just to turn this on its ear a bit if you want to know how many miles in 10000 steps you can take the 10000 divide by your steps calculated per miles and in this example there would be 4.735 miles in 10000 steps.
– OR –
You can get a pedometer
Studies show that people who use pedometers walk further than people who measure their walking activity using only time or distance.
Go here for more information on 10000 Steps
What is the purpose of using the pedometer to track your walking fitness?
If you know what you are doing and your goal is certain. You are more likely to attain that goal if you are tracking your progress.
I still have an old one I call a stepometer that I bought at a novelty shop years ago, it rolls over using a weight that shifts the numbers with every bump in my step. I don’t know if these are available anymore but it isn’t as accurate as the new digital ones.
Also Nike has a free iPhone app that works as a pedometer.
A Pedometer is an electronic devise that measures your steps. They clip on your clothes and are digital. You can get them to upload to programs on your computer and do some really cool calculating to plan our your fitness and weight loss goals.