Walking is one of the greatest exercises you can do to firm your thighs and lift your bum. Recent research suggests that every hour you spend walking – even power walking – may add two hours to your life. Walking can also help lower your risk of heart disease, stroke, type-2 diabetes, cancer, and depression. To reap the benefits try these 8 tips:

power walking | Longevity LIVE1. Wear comfy, well-fitting shoes

They should be lightweight and breathable. Look for thick cushioning in the heel, good support, and flexibility. Replace them after three to six months.

2. Start with a warm-up

Stroll at a comfortable pace for five to 10 minutes. Then pick it up for the rest of your walk.

3. Set goals

Aim for four to six walks every week. “If you’re a beginner, shoot for 20 to 30 minutes. If you’re more advanced, take it up to 45- or 60-minute sessions,” Juliet Kaska, a certified personal trainer in Los Angeles told webmd.com.

4. Stand tall

Pay attention to your posture. Keep your head up, stomach in, and shoulders relaxed. Lift your chest and engage your abs.

5. Stride naturally

Point your toes and knees forward. Straighten your front leg but don’t lock your knee. Try to land on your heel instead of the middle or front of your foot, and then roll your weight forward. Use a natural step length and avoid over-striding.

power walking | Longevity LIVE6. Squeeze and tighten

“Try not to just walk forward from the thighs or hip flexors,” said Kaska said, “Squeeze and step.”

7. Swing your arms

Keep your shoulders relaxed so your arms swing freely, and so your back and neck don’t tense up. Keep your arms bent. Swinging them will propel you forward and help you move faster. Don’t use hand weights. They put stress on your elbows and shoulders.

8. Cool down

Walk at a slower pace for 5 to 10 minutes. Then stretch your hamstrings, calves, chest, shoulders, and back.

For more information, read this study from Harvard Medical School to encourage yourself even more.

4 Easy tips to get the most out of your fitness! Follow the link to read more. 

mm

Samantha Parrish

Samantha has been working as the features writer for Longevity since February 2013 after she graduated from the University of Johannesburg. She studied journalism and this is where she developed a keen interest in the health and wellness arena in South Africa.

She has always had a passion for writing and finds it incredibly rewarding working in the health and wellness industry. Samantha believes that it is important to take an active stance with regards to your health and wellness in order to live a happier, healthier and longer life.

The content in this editorial is for general information only and is not intended to provide medical or other professional advice. For more information on your medical condition and treatment options, speak to your healthcare professional.