Benefits of Walking
Walking is an easy exercise, cheap and safe to do so. It is a method of exercise suitable for all ages. This exercise can be done at anytime and anywhere whether at home, office or shopping mall.
Malaysia's Ministry of Health launched the walk 10,000 steps campaign in 2009 in an effort to encourage Malaysians to be active every day. The third National Health and Morbidity Survey in 2006 found that the percentage of Malaysians who are inactive is 47.3%.What are the benefits?
The practice of walking exercise is beneficial to our health such as:
- Healthy heart, reduces the risk of heart disease by lowering cholesterol levels.
- Controls blood pressure and prevents the risk of high blood pressure and stroke.
- Reduces the risk of diabetes. Walking increases the body’s ability to process sugar better and helps blood flow.
- Helps control weight and body shape to be attractive.
- Reduces stress. Walking helps stimulate the production of endorphins, the hormone that makes us more cheerful and healthier.
- Maintains muscle strength.
- Reduces the risk of osteoporosis.
- Maintains stability and reduces the risk of falling, especially for the elderly.
- Increases self-confidence.
- Set a goal. If we have not done any kind of exercise in a long time, start slowly and short distances.
- Find the perfect place for walking. Ideally the surface should preferably be flat and not dangerous.
- Set a period of time. Make sure the time period set is according to the capacity of the body.
- Add speed and level of difficulty. If we have managed to achieve the above, we can think of adding the walking speed and try to walk in areas such as recreational parks.
- Walk with your family and friends. If we feel less confident and less fun to walk alone, we can invite family members or friends to get together for the exercise. Walk with a companion that accompanies you and that will make the activities more fun and you will not easily get bored.
- Make sure that the heel hits the ground before the other foot. Initially, take short steps.
- Swing your hands. With swinging arms, it will give more impact as to help burn more calories and strengthen muscles in the upper body. This shows that walking exercise not only give more benefits to the bottom muscles but also involves the muscles in the upper body.
- Straighten the back of your body to ensure that we are in a good posture. Straighten the back of your bodies and view ahead.
- Respiratory Control. While walking make sure the breathing is always in order. If you feel your breath gets breathless, you need to reduce the speed or if not you can stop.
- To add more variation during the walk, we can set the target at certain periods to increase and lower the speed.
- If available, we can use a pedometer, which is a tool to measure our footsteps. This device is placed at your waist and it will calculate how many footsteps that you have done on a daily basis.
- Try to do the walking exercise at least 3 to 5 times in a week.
There are many ways we can do the walking workout. It is important that we should know how to find opportunities and to make it a fun workout.
- If you are living in a condo or apartment, try to minimize the usage of the elevator. Instead use the stairs. If cannot, we can use the elevator till half of the way and then use the stairs to reach the designated place.
- Park the car in a place that is quite far from where you want to go. For example, if you were to shopping malls or office, you can park the car a little far from the entrance. This depends on the condition if it is not crowded and does not cause significant inconvenience to us.
- Do not just sit in the office all the time. You can walk around the premises.
- Take your family for a stroll in the park. While at home, play with your child. This is also a way to burn the calories and stimulates the muscles to move.
- Maximize walking to reach a place. For example, we can walk to the mosque, to the grocery store, to a neighbour’s house and so on.
- Walk 1km = 1,250 steps
Walking 10,000 steps is equivalent to approximately 7km.
- Walking for 20 minutes covering a distance of 1.8 miles burns the calorie of a banana.
- Walking for 30 minutes covering a distance of 2.6 miles burns the calorie of a whole curry puff.
- Walking for 60 minutes covering a distance of 4.8 miles burns the calorie of a piece of roti canai.
- Walking 10,000 steps burns 390 calories equivalent to a plate of fried Kuew teow.
- Normally, on average we get 100 steps in a minute.
*This guide is for adults who weighs 70 kg.How do I count my steps?
A pedometer is a device that helps to calculate your steps. It uses a mechanical sensor called magnetic pendulum, which detects the movement of the foot.
In line with the advancement of technology, pedometers currently can not only count the number of steps, but it can also calculate the calories burned, distance travelled through, the value of a gram of fat has been burned and hours.
Pedometer can be found in stores that sells selected sports equipment. For those who have adopted the practice of calculating their steps will indirectly has the ability to estimate the number of steps taken at one time.