If You’re Gonna Walk, Do it Right

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Even walking has an ideal form.

Most people know how to walk, whether for the purpose of exercise or just simple locomotion. There’s a chance someone could be reading this while walking right now, in which case, knock it off. You shouldn’t be looking at your phone while you’re walking. Anyway, while walking is a pretty universally understood concept, when you’re walking for the sake of exercise, there are a few particulars you should be mindful of to get the absolute most possible out of your excursion.

A prolonged walk, for example, necessitates proper attire. Unless it’s really cold out, you shouldn’t wear excessively baggy clothes or heavy footwear. You’re just gonna tire yourself out faster, not to mention get really sweaty. Wear loose, comfortably fitting athletic pants and shirts, as well as light, flexible walking shoes. Remember, there’s a difference between walking shoes and running shoes. Also, if possible, try to wear light colors that won’t absorb as much sunlight.

Some hobby walkers like to bring small free weights out with them to give their hands something to do. The unfortunate fact of the matter is that bringing free weights on a walk is basically useless. Weights that are small enough to carry comfortably on a walk with you don’t provide enough pressure to work your arms to any noticeable degree. You’re more likely to injure your shoulders than anything.

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While a regular, well-understood walking route is perfectly acceptable, if you really want to get the most out of your walks, you should try to mix up your terrain every couple of weeks. Instead of just flat asphalt, walk through the grass, on lumpy dirt, or up a hillside. Different kinds of terrain helps to challenge your leg muscles and train them to adapt to different conditions. More than anything, you should endeavor to walk outside when possible. A treadmill is okay for the bare minimum, but trust me, the fresh air will do you some tangible good.