In the spring, the medical faculty of Harvard University in the United States released a new fitness walking guide that says walking protects against many public diseases.

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Ilta-Sanomat asked the Finnish expert for tips on how to act so that walking improves fitness.

- The first piece of advice is to get moving.

Walking is a good way to improve fitness, because it is suitable for a little worse fitness and does not require special equipment, says Saija Karinkanta, a specialist researcher at the FAQ Institute.

He lists ten pieces of advice that are suitable for walkers of all ages.

  • Walk at such a pace that you will feel a little warm and breathe.

    The length of the trip depends on what condition you are in.

    Start in moderation and increase your journey day by day.

  • According to my own assessment, walking that improves fitness is brisk walking.

  • Preferably walk daily, even for a short trip rather than as a few times a week.

  • When the pace and distance no longer breathe, increase the distance or momentum.

  • Where possible, vary the route and platforms.

  • You can combine walking and small jogs to get variation and power for training.

  • Sometimes make a longer loop than usual at a slightly calmer pace.

  • When walking on hilly terrain, your heart rate rises faster and you also get muscle condition.

  • You can walk between the loops as a force walk, ie put on a bra, dumbbells or ankle weights, or take dumbbells with you.

  • Go on nature trails, it refreshes the mind and, reduces stress and improves balance.

  • The FAQ Institute is a research and expert center for health sports located in Tampere.

    The institute is maintained by the private Urho Kekkonen Fitness Institute Foundation.

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    Exercise recommendation per week

    Weekly exercise recommendation for 18-64 year olds:

    • Any movement that speeds up your heart rate is valid.

    • At least 2 hours 30 minutes a week.

    • You get the same health benefits in up to half the time you increase the power of your exercise, which is at least 1 hour 15 minutes a week.

    • Load large muscle groups and challenge your balance more than usual.

    • Choose your own way: stair walking, heavy yard work, group exercise, gym, ball games.

    Source: FAQ Institute

    The article was originally published in Ilta-Sanomat on May 15, 2020.