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Is Power Walking the Secret to an Ideal Core?

With all the intense class offerings like F45, CrossFit, Orange Theory, and Fitbody Bootcamp, popping up all over, why is walking gaining so much traction in the health and fitness field? 


Photo credit: MICHELLE PEDONE/GETTY IMAGES prevention.com


Well if you are looking for the answer look no further! Today we will discover why power walking could be the missing key to your ideal core (and life) and a few tips on how to get the most out of your walks. 


Every fitness program should include some form of cardio vascular training, but how you get it can depend on person to person. Take me for instance: I’m a fairly high stress person. I have 4 kids, I’m involved in a lot of their after school activities, I run and own a business, and I lift pretty intensely. In the past I have learned that high intensity sprint training for my cardio doesn’t really work for me, especially when I’m trying to cut some body fat. We can talk about how this impacts cortisol, but lets look at the real life effects. I build up a bunch of extra fatigue, so I get moody real easily and I have a very hard time sticking to my nutrition plan. On top of that, I wasn’t getting the best sleep, so all my other workouts were suffering. While HIIT and Sprint training can have some amazing benefits when it comes to your health, walking is gaining a lot of traction in the health and fitness community. Let’s explore a few reasons why! 


LOW BARRIER TO START:

Walking is EXTREMELY easy to get started with. We basically all know how to walk and have access to walk somewhere. Every one of us could use space around us and get 3-5 brisk 5 minute walks each day. Around the office, grocery store, through the house our in the halls of your apartment building are great places to get your body moving! It’s also low impact, so can be done by people of all fitness levels. 


IMPROVES FITNESS AND RECOVERY

Brisk walking (moving like you have to be somewhere) can improve your heart health, burn some calories, keep your metabolism rolling, and improve recovery from other exercise. Walking (especially outdoors) is also a great way to reduce stress! So if you are a “always on” person like myself, the tendency is to do the same with your cardio training. The “it’s got to be hard” mentality could be just piling on more stress for your body, when you actually need some more recovery and stress reduction to improve your health. 


AMAZING FOR BACK AND CORE HEALTH

World renowned back expert Dr. Stu McGill credits brisk walking as being one of the most powerful tools to keep your back healthy and functioning the way it should. Pilates, walking and some core exercises are really the key to your ideal core. 


HOW TO GET THE MOST OUT OF YOUR WALKS

  1. Get them in. If it is 30 minutes straight or you have to break them up into 5 minute blocks between clients, kid pick ups or whatever else you have going on in your day! 

  2. Use your arms and legs. Let your arms swing from the shoulder (not just the elbow) and legs push all the way through your hip. You can use a power walker for some inspiration, but don’t get too extreme! 

  3. Walk with good posture. Keep a tall torso and your head, shoulders, and hips stacked. Your spine should have some natural rotation as your shoulders and hips rotate naturally. 

  4. Walk with intention. Act like you are late to get somewhere. To get the max heart health benefits from walking, you want to get your heart elevated, so you’ve got to push your pace a little bit. 


We hope this post helps clear up any confusion on the health benefits of walking and inspires you to get out on a walk. We would love to hear your favorite walking spot or see your pictures of you out on your walks! Make sure you like our page and stay engaged with the content. 


Oh yeah, I mentioned some popular high intensity fitness offerings at the start. Are they good or bad? We will be going over HIIT, Sprint training, and long duration moderate intensity cardio soon!


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