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  • 26 May 2021
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FITNESS WALKING To get good benefits, cardiovascular fitness program can be simple and easy. You have to be regular in your aerobic activity. Walking is a simple aerobic activity and anyone can do it. Let's look at the simple principles to follow. HOW TO GET STARTED: Learn what you have to do before you start fitness walking. This include getting medical advice, buying basic walking gear like shoes (comfortable with appropriate heels and arch supports) and loose comfortable clothing. WARM - UP & COOL DOWN : A good warm-up may be five minutes of free and easy walking that moves all the muscles used in walking. This can be repeated at the end of walking also. WALKING TECHNIQUE: Focus on proper posture walk straight, do not lean forward or backward. Do not tilt your hips forward or backward. Focus your eyes 20 to 25 feet ahead of you . Take light and easy steps. FOOT MOTION: Make sure your heel touches down before your toes and push off with your toes chin up, and parallel to ground and let your shoulders relax. STRIDE: Do not take longer front stride. Try to keep front stride shorter. Can lengthen your stride in back. Fast walkers can go for smaller steps. ARM MOTION: Flexible but try to keep it normal. Your forward hand need not cross the centre point of your body in motion. HOW TO CALCULATE YOUR TARGET EXCERCISE LEVEL: The first step is to calculate your maximal heart rate (HMR), which is determined by subtracting your age from 220. 220 - -------------------------------------------- = --------------------------------------- For example, if you are 60 years old , your maximal heart rate is 160 (220 - 60) , For beginners go for a target exercise heart rate between 60% of your maximum heart rate. In the above case it will be 96 beats/minute. If you are comfortable with this level you can try increasing your target heart rate to 75% of your heart rate. Take your pulse before exercising and the begin exercising until your heart rate reaches the target no. Good fitness bands are available from 2000.Rs onwards from standard companies like Samsung and Fastrack. HOW LONG TO WALK : On an average normal person can cover 3 to 4 km/ 30 minutes at the rate of 80 to 100 steps / minute .Optimal benefit is gained when you exercise between twenty and thirty minutes. Establish a regular time for your daily routine for consistency. WHE N TO WALK & WHERE : Morning 6 to 8 am or evening 4 to 6 pm is preferable. Walk on grass or sand rather than concrete to help absorb the impact. WALKING AND MENTAL HEALTH: I combine my walking with Awareness, Gratitude Affirmation and Health Affirmations. Mindful walking: This means you are aware of each step and your breathing. Notice movements in your legs and the body. Pay attention to sounds of birds singing, aware of the smell around you, notice the colours, objects and nature. Keep your awareness open to everything around you. PRACTICE GRATITUDE: Some simple gratitude affirmations are: I am grateful for the sunshine, I am grateful for my good health , I am grateful for the beautiful nature and flowers , I am grateful for my children, I am grateful for my parents, I am grateful for my wife, I am grateful for my house, I am grateful for my wealth etc. You can easily create your own affirmations to thank and glorify the God, our creator. PRACTICE HEALTH AFFIRMATIONS: Some of my simple health affirmations are: I am happy, I am healthy, I am fit, I am strong, My lungs are normal, My heart in functioning well, My digestive system and stomach are healthy, My muscles & bones are strong, I have a glowing skin, My nervous system is normal, My immune system is fine, I have perfect Endocrine system etc. CONCLUSION: Fitness walking is good for weight control, strengthens your heart, decrease blood sugar, strengthen your bones and muscles, increases your stamina, reduces risk of diseases, increases mental fitness, better sleep and in the end, a longer life. FOR A DETAILED ARTICLE ON FITNESS WALKING, VISIT OUR BLOG.

Dr. Suresh J Paul MBBS, DO

Dr, Suresh Eye Hospital has a Community Outreach Programme which takes eye care services to the community.

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