Brisk Walking

Ever been interested in exercise or just plain walking? Ever since the age of 14, I’ve always talked about making a commitment to actually get up at any point in my day and take a stroll around my block and I intended to do this every day. Not surprisingly, that goal never came into fruition. Only when I came to university I joined the gym on campus and made effective use of it.

A few days ago, rather than jogging on the treadmill, I decided to walk briskly on it. I walked 20 minutes at around 7km/hour and the next day I brisk walked the same way for just over 40 minutes. I think I took this greater challenge because I was spurred on when I saw a guy with many pounds, in his 40s and full of dedication walk at 5km/hour for about an hour without stopping. For me, that’s absolutely outstanding.

I’m working at sticking to this goal of brisk walking for at least 30 minutes each time I go to the gym, and because of time commitments at the moment, I intend to go to the gym at least four times a week. So far so good, I think! During the first few days of my gym brisk walking, I was amazed at the calories that I was burning, but I wasn’t too happy when I returned to eating high calory foods. From today, I’m commiting to watch how I eat. I think that if I’m going to burn off some fat, I better not compliment it with even more fat intake. It’s just simple sense, right?

I’m working hard to keep at this commitment. I’m aware of the benefits of brisk walking – increased aerobic fitness, increased improvement in blood pressure and cholesterol, healthy bones, muscular strength, relaxation, posture balance and definitely, self esteem. Of course, there are decreased chances of any diseases too. I’m not diagnosed with anything, but brisk walking is good to ensure it stays that way.

The way I’m keeping to this commitment is to…

  • Make it a Habit – I’m keeping four consistent times in my week to brisk walk on the treadmill. This will suit my biorhythms, schedule and lifestyle.
  • Breathe Well – I’m also now being fully conscious of what I’m breathing in. I’m trying to breathe rhythmically and deeply so I get a better intake and release more of what I don’t want.
  • People Support – I also have the right support from my friends. This cheers me on to meet my weekly goal of brisk walking for a minimum of 30 minutes, four times a week.
  • Feel the Benefits – I can’t feel full benefits yet, but the instant feeling of aliveness is surely there. I know it won’t happen overnight, but my commitment and consistency will bring it into fruition quicker.
  • Walking Tall – When I’m brisk walking, I try to be totally conscious so that I keep my body straight and let my arms and legs do the work. I am striding naturally and letting my arms swing gently to develop rhythm and flow.

Brisk walking is a skill sport, however it can be done by anyone. It’s the most popular workout in America, it’s cheaper than gym membership and more convenient than swimming because you really can do it at anytime. If you’ve always thought about doing some exercise and never really gotten round to starting, then this is the time. If you’ve set a New Year’s resolution to exercise, but haven’t got started, feel confident to start now.

Make a commitment to brisk walk with consistency several times a week, if you can’t put in time each day. Set a time limit – perhaps brisk walk for 10 minutes first, and then increase as you feel motivated, fit, healthy and confident. Consider walking first thing in the morning before other tasks crowd your vision. If you spend a lot of time driving even to places close to you, exchange some of that time to brisk walking there and you’ll even save pollution from your vehicle’s exhaust. Perhaps use the stairs at your shopping centre, rather than the elevator. How can you use the bullet points I have noted above to your advantage too?

I feel there is a great misconception about walking out there. Even, I used to think so. Many people think that walking won’t achieve any kind of improvement to one self. They are wrong. The benefits of walking, especially brisk walking are massive and contagious as long as there is consistency and commitment – two key essentials to experiencing the benefits.

If you want some further evidence, I particularly like this news feature by the BBC: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/3260525.stm

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