“No pain, no gain” may be true for some elite athletes, but for most of us, nothing could be further from the truth. Finding joy and pleasure in being active is its own reward, but the biggest benefit of doing something you love for exercise is that you stand a much better chance of actually sticking to it.
Well, don’t overlook the simple movements like walking! Walking can:
Clear your mind
Offer a change of scenery
Bring structure to often shapeless days
Help accomplish your daily physical activity criteria
Whilst it’s perfectly fine to keep them easy and ambling, especially if they are primarily for fresh air or mental health purposes, there are also plenty of ways to make them hard enough that it will feel like a moderate to an intense workout.
Study after study shows us that walking and walking speed are linked to longevity. Walking speed predicts the life expectancy of older adults. A new analysis of walking speed studies shows that—down to the tenth of a meter per second—an older person's pace, along with their age and gender, can predict their life expectancy just as well as the complex battery of other health indicators. Evidence from epidemiological studies suggests that even small improvements in the amount of daily walking is better than no walking and greater increases confer larger cardiovascular and metabolic health benefits.
With that being said, whether you are physically active already or just starting out with exercise, here are some tips on how you can start your walking programme and most importantly, build sustainable habits around physical activity!
1.Get a walking buddy
Sometimes it's good to have a walking buddy to catch up with them or just rant about your day to get the work stress out of your system. Additionally, they can double up as an accountability buddy.
2.Take it outside
Outdoor workouts resulted in greater revitalization, increased energy, and more positive engagement with the activities, along with less depression, anger, confusion, and tension. Plus, sunlight increases Vitamin D production which strengthens the immune system, lowers blood pressure and boosts our mood!
3. Set a “Cue” / designate a time that reminds you it’s time to grab your sneakers
Whether it’s in the morning before work, on your lunch break, or in the evenings, dedicating specific times for walking will help make it a habit and part of your everyday routine. If you have a crazy schedule, try chunking small walks into your schedule when you have time. For example, allocate a 10-minute stroll after eating your lunch which may help with digestion and at the same time achieve your daily step count.
4.No Min & No Max
How you fit in your fitness is entirely up to you. You can go on daily 22-minute walks, or go on four 38-minute walks. You can even go on two short, 11-minute walks each day if that seems more manageable.
5.The Run-Walk Method
For the initiated, you may feel like you’re finally ready to increase the intensity of your walks. Well, for starters, you might want to try the Run-Walk method which was crafted by an ex-Olympian. Contrary to what you might think, the technique doesn’t mean walking when you’re tired; it means taking brief walk breaks when you are not. You can pick whatever ratio of walking and running that works for you. By using this method, you can slowly build your cardiovascular fitness whilst controlling the difficulty of the workout. In the table below are some examples of how you can vary the run-walk combinations.
About Actxa Wellness
Actxa Wellness’ mission is to bring about sustainable lifestyle solutions through fitness, health, and wellness. Our flagship programme is the Actxa Wellness Programme which provides employee wellness solutions to team build and create culture; elevate engagement and happiness; and improve overall mental wellbeing. From providing hardware to track personalised physiological data, to leveraging a proprietary algorithm called the Healthy Living Score (HLS), to incorporating a tried-and-tested curriculum that includes workshops and challenges to engage and build sustainable positive lifestyle habits revolving around EAT, REST, and EXERCISE, we have got our clients well covered.
About Ng Jun Quan
As a highly competitive tennis player in his junior years, playing in both local and international tournaments, sports have always been the epicenter of Jun Quan's life. When he moved on into his tertiary years, an inquisitive mind naturally translated his passion of playing the game into a thirst for understanding more about physiological sporting performance enhancement. Hence began his journey into sports science, health and wellness.
With so many misconceptions and myths concerning fitness and health floating around on the internet and social media, Jun Quan became keener on providing health and wellness solutions for your everyday person instead of high-performing athletes. He hopes to bring clarity by translating highly technical scientific articles into bite-sized digestible information in hopes of moving towards a more informed and healthier society.
"Things work out best for those who make the best of how things work out"