Walking improves your health and fitness and is suitable for most people. Walking is low impact, requires minimal equipment, and can be done at any time of day, at your own pace.
Almost everyone can do it. Some of walking’s main benefits include:
- Increased heart & lung fitness
- Decreased blood pressure and cholesterol
- Decreased joint and muscular pain
- Stronger bones and improved balance.
- Increased muscle strength and endurance.
- Reduced body fat.
How long should I spend exercising?
Olympic athletes use a system of a ‘hard day’ of training followed by an ‘easy day’ that allows their body a partial recovery. You can use this system too! Refer to the table below. First, select your current fitness level from the green column. The blue column will tell you how long you should exercise on your hard and easy days. You can allow one day per week for a complete rest.
How hard should I exercise?
Taking your heart rate is an ideal way to gauge if you are exercising with the correct intensity. Locate your age category in the yellow columns on the chart. The numbers below indicate the pulse rate that you should aim for during exercise., depending upon your fitness level. For example, a sixty year old with intermediate fitness should walk for 20 minutes on an easy day, 30 minutes on a hard day, with a pulse rate of 112 beats per minute.
Others ways to encourage yourself to walk include walking with friends, family or pets. Most large shopping centres have walking groups, where you can walk in air-conditioned comfort with like-minded people. With so many beautiful walking tracks around the Brisbane area, you can be sure to always enjoy great scenery.
As your fitness improves, you’ll find yourself covering greater distances in shorter times and becoming less puffed when walking at speed or up hills. Don’t stop there! Keep setting yourself new goals and enjoy all that new found energy.