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A Walk in the Park

Bring a friend, a dog, or both to help you enjoy the exercise benefits walking provides.

Bring a friend, a dog, or both to help you enjoy the exercise benefits walking provides.

After a long winter in Calgary, doesn’t it feel good to get outside, smell the fresh air, and enjoy the warmth?  One of the easiest ways to improve your health is to walk.  Whether you are looking to get a bit more aerobic activity, or just tone up, walking can be an excellent program.

Here are a few things to consider as you begin a program of walking for health.

Always strive to look forward.  Keep that chin up! Try to focus on the street or path about 10-20 feet ahead.
How long should your stride be?  Try to take quick short steps, pushing off with your toes while using the natural spring of your calf muscles to propel you.
Keep your arms bent at a 90-degree angle.  As you speed up in your walking your arms can swing faster, for a better aerobic workout.
Since the weather in Calgary can change on a dime, try to wear layers.  The fabric next to your skin should be one that can wick away the sweat from your body.  If you are walking near traffic be sure to wear some reflective fabric for safety.
Walking shoes need to be a bit more flexible than a hiking shoe.  They should provide more support than an athletic shoe.

How much, how often

This totally depends on what your goal is in walking.  30 minutes a day most weeks will help you to maintain your health.  Walk at a pace where you are still able to talk.

If you however, want to lose weight then a 45-60 minute walk at a faster pace will be beneficial.

If your goal is to increase your aerobic activity and cardiovascular health, then aim for 3-4 days of walking, 20 minutes at a time at a very fast pace.  Think: breathing hard but not gasping.

And as always a beneficial activity before starting any program of exercise is to visit our south Calgary clinic for a chiropractic check-up.  Let us help you to make sure you are getting the most out of your program by ensuring the joints in your legs, hips, and spine are functioning at their best.

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