A lot of Irish people consider ‘walking’ their main form of exercise. Walking can be excellent exercise for many people-it is free, most people can do it, it is easily accessible and can be incorporated readily into your lifestyle. However, one person’s idea of going for walk can be very different to another person’s idea of walking- is it a 10 minute stroll you are going for, or a 45 minute power walk? My advice, is make your exercise count! If you go to the effort of going for walk-you have already done the hard bit! Make sure you make the most out of your walk to benefit your body-here are some simple ways of doing this:
1. Increase the pace!
Time your normal walk, and then the next time you do the same walk-aim to do 10% faster. Each time you go out for the same walk, aim to knock a few seconds off your last time. This will keep you focused, and will ensure you are getting a better cardiovascular workout from your walk.
2. Go further!
Try go a little bit longer each time you go out walking. Again follow the 10% rule. Add on 10% extra distance a week to your walking routine. Map out your walk on http://www.mapmyrun.com/ie/ before you go out so you have a plan and stick to it!
3. Add in some extra exercises!
A great way of making more out of your walk, is to add in some non-walking exercises along the way. This could be stopping at a step and doing 20 step ups, doing the monkey bars in Malahide castle, coming home and doing 20 squats/20 sits up/20 press ups etc. Plan on doing 10% of your walking time being non-walking exercise. This can help increase strength, and increase calorie burning!
To improve your flexibility, and suppleness, do 2 mins of stretching pre and post walking. Target the legs, back and arms separately.
5. Sign up for a walk!
To keep you motivated, and give you something to focus on, sign up for a 5km walk. This could even be the ‘Park Run’ in Malahide Castle every week-you can just walk instead of run!
6. Add in some light jogging!
If you feel you have increased your walking speed and you are now a pro power walker, consider incorporating some light jogging. Start with 1 min jog every 10mins you walk and build up slowy from there. This will help increase your cardio. Remember, you are never to old to start jogging!
Malahide/Portmarnock area has so many beautiful walks so there are no excuses to get started on a walking program today!