By: Siddiqu “The Personal Trainer”
ACE (American Council of Exercise), NFPT (National Federation of Personal Training) Certified Personal Trainer, IHSA Certified Coach, and Boxing Fitness Trainer
I want to state once and for all: walking is a serious form of exercise! I think walking does not get as much credit as it should, so I wanted to highlight it for anyone who is trying to lose weight, increase their cardiovascular endurance, or just improve overall health.
You have a lot of would-be exercisers that want to treat walking as something that they don’t really need – as if it doesn’t breed the exact same results as biking, running, swimming, elliptical, etc. When anyone asks me what they should do when they are just starting an exercise routine, or if they have hit a plateau in there current routine, I always give the same response, “WALK!” And this is why:
You can walk anywhere. With other forms of cardio, you need a path, a pool or certain kind of road, but with walking all you need is anything. You can walk on the sand, you can walk in the water, you can walk uphill, you can walk downhill… as long as you have two legs and somewhere to place them, you can walk.
You can walk at any speed that you are capable of. I have clients who have certain injuries, and that limits how fast they can run or jog. In some high risk areas, biking is not suggested at a fast pace because you have to watch oncoming traffic and other bikers. With walking, you can go fast or slow – it really doesn’t matter.
Walking is very inexpensive. The only thing you need to walk is a pair of comfortable shoes ($40-100) No gym membership, no equipment, no machine, no special outfit, etc… With the economy being the way it is, everyone can make use of a form of exercise that doesn’t pull on their finances. Tip: purchase a new pair of shoes every four to six months when walking consistently.
Check out WalkingShoeReviews.com for opinions on the best walking shoes!
Walking can be added to your regular routine without fatigue. If you run three miles, three days a week for your cardio, and you have been doing that for years, then adding some walking back and forth to work (or just on the weekends) instead of driving will add an entire new dimension to your cardio and weight loss.
When was the last time you heard of someone getting injured while going for a stroll? Walking is such a natural movement. I can’t tell you how many clients I have or people who I have seen who have terrible running form. Consistency with terrible running form is a recipe for an injury. As long you you pump your arms, your walking form is perfect.
The only thing I see people doing wrong with walking is holding onto a treadmill or carrying something in one or both arm while walking. Both of those activities throws off the natural gait of the individual, and can eventually lead to an injury.
The best way to burn more calories with walking is to walk uphill or use the stairs. The difference between walking on a flat surface and uphill walking can be almost double the amount of calories within the same distance! Here are the numbers of how many calories you will burn in one mile walking at a certain speed, based upon your weight.
For more information on Siddiqu “The Personal Trainer” go to CF4Life.com
Siddiqu is a regular guest on Chicago’s Power 92.3′s morning show, the WVON Morning show, and Fox’s Raw TV. Siddiqu specializes in weight loss and body toning. His educational background includes a B.A. in Marketing from DePaul University, and he is currently pursuing an MBA/MS from Loyola University Chicago.