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WALKING AS A FORM OF HEALTH WORKOUT
Monday 1/29/18 time 2:45 PM - Marko Kantaneva
Walking is a safe form of endurance workout suitablevfor everyone. This is the most easily available form of exercise (active movement) to improve our health. Walking can be practised anywhere and at any time. When walking, large muscle groups in the legs, pelvic area, trunk and upper limbs work uninterruptedly and continuously.
For instance, a male weighing 75 kg uses about 12 – 15 kg of his body muscles actively in walking. When walking, a person moves at the level improving the endurance of the body. Walking is safe for the skeletal system, muscles and joints, because the centre of gravity is shifted to the mid-body. Shifting the centre of gravity to the mid-body reduces loads on the feet, ankles, knees and lower back. Load impacts on the lower limbs thus match the body weight of the person walking. If walking is compared with jogging or running motions, then in the latter cases the load impact on the lower limbs equals three times the body weight of the runner.
Research also shows that besides endurance any workout in the form of walking also improves the blood fat profi le and the composition of the body. Walking also has a benefi cial impact on blood pressure in the resting state, bone density and mood. Walking exercises improve endurance. Energy consumption when walking depends on speed and body weight. Even normal walking speed triples the basic metabolism of the body compared with resting. If the speed exceeds 7 km per hour, energy consumption approaches that of jogging.
During a brisk walk, a person weighing eighty kilos uses 60% more energy than a 50-kilo person. Energy consumption of an average-sized woman is thus considerably smaller than that of a normal size man walking the same trip. If the walking path is soft or very rough, for instance a sandy or a soft gravel path, then energy consumption increases. Unevenness of the soil increases energy consumption more than its softness. Powerful arm movements or the use of poles, handweights and ankleweights also increase energy consumption. However, the use of additional weights may slow down the pace, and thus the actual training effect is smaller.