Exercising daily is important to keep you fit with frequent traveling and irregular diets. With most hotels having an in-door gym, you can get on to the treadmill and try fitness walking.
Fitness walking is a brisk rhythmic aerobic walk, which is a low impact, low stress form of exercising. It is designed to escalate your heart and respiration rate and burn excess calories, thus helping you achieve long-term cardio vascular health and fitness. It helps you regain and maintain ideal body weight and improve both muscle tone and strength.
Fitness walking helps better control and manage problems like backache, heart disease, hypertension, premenstrual syndrome, respiratory diseases, arthritis, varicose veins, depression, lethargy and lack of energy and drive.
It’s important to make time for walking for at least 20 to 30 mins everyday. Fitness walking requires you to walk at a certain pace to keep your heart rate high for 15 to 20 min, without feeling too breathless.
This walking exercise works large muscles in the legs and arms in a steady rhythmic pattern. As you walk briskly, these muscles need oxygen so you need to breath in deeply and your heart beats faster to deliver the amount of oxygen needed. The extra oxygen gives more energy and the result is improved efficiency of lungs and heart.
Ask Dr Rao
1. I have a bad knee. Can I practice fitness walking?
Walking is a low impact exercise. In fact it helps to strengthen the muscles around the knee and is beneficial.
2. Is walking advised for heart patients?
Absolutely. Walking helps to gradually strengthen the heart and lungs. Start with 5 minutes per day and slowly increase by 5 mins a week to at least 30 mins per day.
3. What speed should i be walking at?
The rule of thumb is that you should be walking at a pace where normal conversation is difficult. Slow walking does not have much cardiovascular benefits.
4. Is walking in the morning better than evening?
It does not make a difference. If your schedule permits you to walk in evenings, then by all means do that. The amount of exercise per day is more important that when you walk
The author is a Padmashee recipient in the field of medicine