How to get the most out of walking

Are you fond of walking? Walking is not only a pleasant activity but also surprisingly useful. To get the most out of the exercise, follow these simple rules.

Walking is one of the simplest and most effective exercises for health, weight loss, and keeping the body in good shape. It strengthens the heart, benefits the psychological state, helps with weight management, and reduces the risk of chronic diseases. You need to know and follow several elementary rules to get the desired result. 

Proper walking

Before you lace up your sneakers and go out, read these guidelines :

  • Realistically evaluate your training and physical condition. Setting world records on the first day makes no sense: gradually increasing the load. 
  • Healthy people can walk at a speed of 6 km / h, but you should not sharply strain unaccustomed muscles. When determining your ideal speed, focus on breathing: you should be able to speak without shortness of breath. 
  • Calculate your biological clock for sports. Every person’s mental and physical productivity rises and falls at certain times of the day. By observing yourself, you will find that at one time of the day, you can easily achieve a pace that seems impossible at another hour. 
  • But you should not choose to walk in the morning, especially for people with high blood pressure: it will rise due to the work of hormones at this time of day. 
  • Correct posture is very important: stretch straight out like a tree and look ahead – try not to tilt your head. Straighten and relax your shoulders. Make sure that the pelvis does not tilt forward or backward while walking.
  • After exercise, a few sips of water every 10 minutes will prevent dehydration and fatigue.
  • One of the advantages of walking is the need for more serious equipment. But you will need a comfortable pair of shoes. 
  • Pay attention to clothing: a tracksuit is not required, but clothing that does not hinder movement and does not prevent sweating is needed.
  • Weather changes can easily derail your plans, so check the forecast daily. And, of course, dress for the weather. 
  • To avoid exposure to the sun while walking in nature, you should wear sunglasses, a hat, and sunscreen.
  • It is recommended to consume “fast” carbohydrates about an hour before the walk. And fruits will replenish carbohydrate reserves after walking.
  • Gently stretching your muscles before and after a walk will prevent injury and increase flexibility. 

And a few more tips to keep you motivated and enthusiastic:

  • Find a friend with whom you will go for walks. It could be a neighbor, a friend, a relative, or even a puppy. 
  • Create a playlist or download an audiobook. If you stop at music, let it be positive, motivating, and rhythmic. (But avoid looking at your smartphone as you walk, or you’ll lose your posture.)
  • Change your route. Walking around your neighborhood is convenient, but plan a new path once or twice weekly to avoid monotony. 
  • Downloading a fitness app to your phone or wearing a fitness bracelet is a great way to keep track of your progress.

Walking for weight loss

Everyone is an individual, so a universal approach to sport and harmony is impossible. Calorie burning and weight loss will occur depending on nutrition, initial data, and lifestyle. But for fans of accurate calculations, we add that, on average, an hour of walking burns 267 calories.

How to get the most out of walking

Walking for weight loss should start with a simple and moderate plan:

  • How far do you want to go,
  • the planned pace
  • possible waste of time
  • Number of walking days per week.

The key here is persistence. For people who are not accustomed to walking for more than 20 minutes, starting with 10-15 minute walks two to three times a week at an average pace is recommended. And, of course, it should be remembered that weight loss occurs when a person spends more calories than they consume. Therefore, a review of nutrition is also likely to be needed. 

But remember that scales cannot be the only determining factor for success. Pay attention to how you feel and how your clothes fit. It could significantly reduce shortness of breath and increase self-esteem – all this also helps to move forward. 

Nordic walking

Increasingly, you can meet people on the streets and in parks with ski sticks. Nordic walking is a type of physical activity that is well-suited for everyone and creates an excellent load on all muscle groups. With poles, you use the strength of your upper body while walking. Walking can be done anywhere: in the city or the countryside – but before starting classes, it is better to take a few lessons from an instructor.

How to get the most out of walking

Nordic walking is suitable for people of all fitness levels and abilities. It provides a full-body workout without tension or pain, which can significantly benefit the body. 

Nordic walking rules:

  • Tilt your upper body slightly forward.
  • Arms and legs move alternately: first, the right leg and left arm go forward, and then vice versa.
  • Take wider steps than usual.
  • The poles should always point backward and be placed between the front and back foot.
  • Hands should move freely. 

The benefits of this sport:

  • more calories are burned compared to normal walking;
  • relieves tension in the neck and shoulders;
  • improves posture and gait;
  • the muscles of the back and abdomen are strengthened;
  • reduced impact on the joints.

Nordic walking helps to activate up to 90% of the muscles and reduces the risk of diseases such as diabetes, asthma, stroke, and heart problems. Like any physical activity, it certainly helps to lose weight. There are also social benefits: groups of Nordic walking enthusiasts are being formed worldwide. By joining them, you can make new friends. 


English rucking comes from the word “rucksack.” Simply put, this is walking with weight on the back, that is, with a backpack. For those who want to lose weight, we add that a load weighing up to 10% of a person’s body weight helps burn 13% more calories than walking light. 

How to get the most out of walking

Equipment for racking:

  • There are special weights of different weights. Their main disadvantage is that you have to pay for them. But you can create weights from improvised materials. For example:
  • The backpack can be filled with old books;
  • Another practical way is to take a water bottle with you as a weighing agent. (although the weight of the backpack will decrease, gradually reducing the load toward the end of the workout is useful, especially for beginners);
  • For example, you can make your weights, fill bags with sand or get bricks. Professionals recommend wrapping sets of three bricks tightly with film and taping them so they do not move.

After you pack your backpack, put it on your back and take it for a walk. The weight should feel close to the body, preferably towards the middle of the upper back. If you feel the weight is shifting, you need to redistribute the backpack’s contents. 


Whatever method you choose, remember the main success factors: consistency, gradual increase in load, parallel control of nutrition (even if losing weight is not the goal), maintaining water balance, and, of course, mood. It will be useful to alternate types of walking, replacing a simple walk in the park with a Scandinavian one – after which you can add weights. A great way to improve your performance is to combine walking with socializing.


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