It’s Fall – my favorite season of the year!
Aside from the beauty of the changing leaf colors (northeast US), I find walking in the fall to be my most treasured times. I love the crispness of the air, a bright blue sky, warmth of the sun at mid- day and of course, having my walking partners (Jill and Zoey) join me.
Were you aware that aside from your pace, there are other ways to incorporate some “fitness exercises” into your walk? Based on where you walk some of what I am sharing may or may not be appropriate as some surfaces and inclines may interfere.
Because of the various walking abilities of Jill (the Lab) and Zoey (the Yorkie), I attempt to include some of the following, when safe and appropriate:
– backwards walking – good for balance; go slowly and on level, even surface
– side- step/cross-over walking – different muscles moving legs
– toe walking – be careful here. Start out with only a few steps and gradually increase – these muscles
will talk to you!
– heel roll – heel first and roll over ball of foot to toes – very intentional stepping
When stopped or going very slow (Yorkie pace), I do more balance work – stand on one leg for a count of x, then the other; extend the lifted leg forward or back for a count of x, circles with extended leg.
Research is starting to share that just getting out to walk is helpful to our physical and mental health, even if just starting by walking a block or two; we don’t need to prepare for marathons. The objective is to continually increase your distance, pace and add some balance. Start with a few minutes every day and increase up to 30 minutes a day, which will meet the recommended 150 minutes of exercise a week. And, just possibly you will see improved health markers such as: improved blood pressure, improved blood sugar levels, improved heart health, better joint health, improved bone density, improved circulation…to name a few.
You can go here for more information:
– 10 Fun Ways to Add Balance Exercises to Your Walks
– Walking improves health markers
And, November 17th is National Take a Hike day!