There is magic in long Sunday walks.
The whole body moves as if by itself, the mind picks up in the fresh air and the scenery has time to be enjoyed properly.
The thought creeps into my mind: could a mere walk keep the body fit?
That feels too easy to be true.
Welcome to break prejudices and get to know power walking!
Personal trainer Heidi Tainio thinks walking is unnecessarily underestimated.
- You really don't have to run if you don't like it or it doesn't suit you.
A brisk walk stays just as good.
I myself took long stroller walks with a good heart rate for a year after my son was born and I was in super good shape.
It’s easy to turn regular furniture into power walks without even strollers: just add tempo or ankle weights, grab sticks, head up a hill or stairs, or combine a bit of muscle training with a jog.
An efficient time user also makes a business or trade trip a powerhouse.
- Take a little longer to the store and return the same route as the shopping bags, Tainio suggests.
You can also get power for walking by varying the terrain and jogging routes.
- In the forest and on the chewing track, a soft surface challenges the muscles and balance of the legs, while on the trails, coordination is improved when taking jumping steps.
In the uphills, mid-body control develops: posture must not slump during ascent.
Walking guarantees basic condition
Walking is a great way to improve your basic fitness, because when you walk, your heart rate stays in the basic fitness range, which is low enough.
Basic endurance is the foundation for all other exercise.
- Many people make the mistake of starting to train too hard without basic fitness.
It doesn’t make sense to pull a hit if you’ve been lying on the couch for years.
If you find it difficult to get started, a pedometer can motivate you to move.
The daily target of 10,000 steps set on the gauges is met unnoticed as you walk in small bursts throughout the day.
As the condition increases, it is also worth increasing the step goal.
The 15,000 daily steps have been found to have a clear link to, among other things, low cholesterol and blood pressure levels.
In technology, the most important things are posture, control of the middle body and a rolling step.
- Walking improves aerobic endurance as well as muscle condition, strengthens bones and helps with weight management.
A brisk force loop outdoors stimulates the mind and relieves stress, Tainio lists.
When walking, you also feel better about the environment than when running, and even sleep becomes easier after walking.
Unlike running, power loops are also suitable for almost everyone.
When walking, joints and knees are spared from hard shocks and vibrations.
- Strain injuries in the lower extremities are often due to poor running technique.
Walking is not as technical as running, so it is safer as a sport.
In walking technique, the most important thing is good posture, control of the middle body and a rolling step.
The hands move naturally on the sides of the body, the shoulders remain relaxed and the gaze is forward.
In addition, the power walker remembers to activate the muscles of the middle body lightly with each step.
With the rods the heart rate rises
Walking sticks can be used in many styles, but when used correctly they are guaranteed to keep your shirt wet.
- With the sticks, the heart rate rises, the posture improves and the upper body gets trained.
The step lengthens and the pace accelerates as if unnoticed.
Tainio advises to focus on pushing the rod backwards, in which case the biceps and stretcher will be trained and the gluteal muscles will be activated.
- Remember to always tense the buttocks during the exertion phase.
At the same time, the pelvis and hip joint turn forward.
The Pro Nordic Walker does not squeeze the rods, but opens the palm at the end of the push behind the body.
This lengthens the step and gives the walk a brisk pace.
Tainio also advises keeping the sticks at a slight back angle so that they hit the ground next to the foot.
When the rods are used effectively, the counter-rotation of the upper body and chest becomes more efficient.
As a power trainer, Tainio recommends Nordic walking, which develops endurance at high heart rates.
- Stick walk up the slope and restore the pulse when coming down.
Make sure your heart rate has dropped before you head back up the slope.
When you stick the hill 4-6 times, you get a great interval workout.
The story has previously been published in Me Naisten No. 17/2017.