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Outdoor Elements

Tips On Walking

January 27, 2014 (Updated: 4:49 PM)

Tips From Mark Fenton

  1. Good tall posture. Look forward, not down at the ground, with your chin level and head up.
  2. Tighten your stomach and flatten your back. Tilt your pelvis forward—no "shelf" out back. This can prevent low back, gluteal, and hamstring tightness.
  3. Quicker, smaller steps. Resist the temptation to lengthen your stride to go faster.
  4. Push off with your toes. Use the natural spring of your calf muscles to propel you. Think "I'm showing the bottom of my shoes" with each step.
  5. Bend your arms. A 90 degree bend at waistband-to-chest height. This makes your arms a shorter pendulum, so they can swing faster as your steps speed up.

How much walking is enough?

It depends what your goals are.

  1. To maintain health with regular physical activity: Walk 30 minutes/day most days of the week at a "talking" pace.
  2. Weight loss: Walk 45-60 minutes/day at a "purposeful/talking" pace.
  3. Aerobic and cardiovascular fitness: Walk 3-4 days 20 minutes at a very fast pace—breathing hard but not gasping.

For more info and interesting walking facts, go to americawalks.org/resources/.