Take A Walk

What are the benefits of walking?

Stops bone mass loss
Strengthens muscles
Improves circulation

Stops bone mass loss –

Whether or not you have osteoporosis walking can strengthen your bones. Ideally, the bones are straightened by weight bearing exercise, resistance exercise and flexibility. You can begin with something as simple as sitting in a chair, both feet flat on a solid floor. Begin lifting your legs, alternating right then left, tapping your toes on the floor. Slowly increase the speed and the impact pressure. Continue this for 30-seconds. Increase the amount of time until you are capable of tapping for three sets, one minute each set. It is simple, but it is a tremendous start!

Walking provides light impact and weight bearing. In “Fitness Peak” Dr. Marcola explains, “Bones are constantly being rebuilt in a dynamic process involving the removal of old bone through osteoclasts and regeneration of new, healthy bone by osteoblasts. Load bearing exercise works to build stronger bones by stimulating cells responsible for the synthesis and mineralization of bone (osteoblasts).”

I caution individuals to begin walking around their neighborhood, safe areas they know well. When you are just beginning to get back into walking, avoid void hills. Also, be mindful of the surfaces you are walking upon. Uprooted sidewalks and other uneven surfaces can be dangerous. Use caution when graduating to a treadmill. The treadmill is a wonderful tool when properly utilized. Once again, when you are just starting to utilize the treadmill, avoid inclines. Chose a pace that you can comfortably maintain and make certain the speed is not forcing an exaggerated stride.

Dancing and hiking will add to your health and enjoyment!

Strengthens muscles –

Never underestimate the importance and value of a good walk! In, “Walk to Strengthen Muscles” Jerry Galloway makes a very important point: “Going for a ‘pure’ walk (no running at all) allows your body to make small adaptations that strengthen your feet, knees and hips. Long, brisk walks can help boost your endurance.”

Consider the harmony of movement in a single step.

CALF MUSCLES – The calf muscles provide the upward and forward momentum for the “push-off” phase of walking, which lifts the heel off the ground.

TIBIALIS ANTERIOR AND ANKLE EXTENSOR MUSCLES – These run along the outside portion of the lower leg, along the shin bone. They raise the toes and the foot during the leg’s forward motion (or “Swing”) phase. The muscles then work together to lower the toes and foot as the heel hits the ground.

HAMSTRING MUSCLES – Walking’s push off phase (hip extension) works the hamstring muscles in the back of the upper leg or thigh area.

QUADRICEPS MUSCLES – These muscles at the front of the thighs are used as each leg is extended.

HIP FLEXOR MUSCLES – The hip flexor muscles lift the thigh forward in the “swing” phase of the stride.

BUTTOCK MUSCLES – Rocking the hips during brisk walking works the gluteal muscles.

ABDOMINAL MUSCLES – Making a point of walking with natural, upright posture can strengthen the abdominal muscles for a trim fit appearance and healthy posture.

ARM AND SHOULDER MUSCLES – These muscles are used when you pump your arms vigorously, up to the chest or shoulder level, while walking (the arm swings forward naturally as the right leg strides ahead, and vice versa).

Improves circulation –

And what about the HEART MUSCLE? As your endurance increases this important muscle is revitalized to supply nutrients throughout the entire body!

Walking is a carefully orchestrated symphony of movement that is easy to do and vitally important for continued health!

Loads of luv’n,

Portions of the above taken from, “How Stuff Works.”

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Laurie De Seguirant is a nationally certified Master Trainer. His certifications include, Senior Fitness Specialist, Corrective Exercise Specialist, Golf Fitness Specialist, Group Fitness Specialist, Weight Loss Specialist and Fitness Nutrition Specialist. He has received national certifications through the National Academy of Sports Medicine and the National Exercise and Sports Trainers Association. He has invested thousands of hours in one-on-one personal training with seniors and special needs populations and is currently the Corrective Exercise Specialist at Blackhawk Country Club in Danville, California.

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