women walking in the countryside

Walking three times a week helps to skip the extra workout

Walking is an ingenious way to cope with the week’s exercise, and if you combine your walks with your transport from A to B, you also save time. Here you get a complete walking program and tips to get the most out of your walks.

Walking is the easiest and cheapest form of exercise

You simply will not find an easier training than walking!

First of all, it’s easy. Second, walking does not require super fitness. You can get started, no matter how bad your shape is and how old you are. A third good reason is that in addition to a good pair of shoes, it does not require any other equipment. If you have the desire and the money, there are plenty of nice clothes and smart equipment that make your walks both much more fun and more comfortable, but it is entirely up to you and your wallet.

Finally, you can walk anytime and anywhere, even when you are on vacation. And well yes, if you need more reasons, then it is also completely free.

While walking, you can rejoice that walking burns almost as many calories as a race. Walking is also a much more gentle form of exercise than running, as you constantly have one foot in the ground. Thus, the risk of injury is low.

Start walking today

Although walking is easy and healthy, there are probably a few who go for a long walk every day. However, you can change that today if you transform walking into your daily transport. It requires a little planning and extra time but if you walk, for example, 7 kilometers, three times a week, you will not need to exercise more that week.

Three healthy reasons to walk

  1. If you walk regularly, your risk of cardiovascular disease decreases by 25 percent. 
  2. You burn the number of calories you weigh in kilograms per kilometer.
  3. A 30-minute walk in the middle of the day lifts the spirits of people with sedentary work.

How to walk optimally

Shoulders: Relax your shoulders and think about holding them down so you do not walk tense.

Arms: Swing your arms actively. You need to swing so far forward that your hands reach chest height. Pull your elbow well back as you swing back. When you use your arms, you will automatically go a little faster, thus increasing your metabolism.

Head: Keep your head straight so that your neck is in a natural extension of your spine.

Back: Keep your back straight. This allows your buttocks and back muscles to work better.

Feet: Roll on the feet. Put your heel lightly in the ground and roll forward over the foot in a sliding motion. When you get on your toes, you set off again. 

Steps: Take long steps. If you are not used to walking, you will easily take short steps. Take a little longer steps than you might normally do because then you get a good kick in the buttocks. The steps must not be artificially long.

Walk 3, 4 or 5 times a week

If you do not want to exercise other than walking, you have to walk 20 km a week. This corresponds to 4 hours of exercise per week. Go at least 3 times a week, as otherwise, it will be too long between workouts. The health value is greatest in the first 36-48 hours after exercise. To get your heart rate up and thus strengthen your legs, you can use an interval running program twice a week. 

Get more out of the walking intervals

  • Walking interval of 15-20 min. twice a week. An interval of 18 min. could look like this: Go at max pace for 4 min. You should be able to feel that your heart rate rises and that you are more easily out of breath. Continue at a normal pace for 2 min. Repeat again with 4 min., 2 min., 4 min., 2 min. and 4 min., after which you continue the rest of the trip at a normal pace.
  • Only start with the intervals after a warm-up, eg. after 5-10 minutes of walking.
  • Your interval pace on a flat road may reach 7-8 km/h, but here both the surface, your shape, and leg length come into play.  

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