Is walking a sport? That’s a question many people ask because walking looks more like a leisure activity than a workout. The truth is that there are many types of walking styles and not all of them are considered as a sport. Any cardio workout will boost your heart rate and your blood circulation, and the question is will you get the same health benefits by simply walking? This is exactly what you are going to discover in this article.
So, Is Walking Really a Sport?
Walking becomes a sport when walking at a fast pace, this means, when you walk faster than you normally do in your daily life. For Example, when you go to the park or go shopping in town, do you feel like you are working out? Probably not. You can proudly say that you are doing a good job when you sweat and you get out of breath to the point you find it hard to speak. That’s a sport and you can do it by walking fast!
What Walking Techniques Are There?
As I stated above, there are many types of walking styles, which some of them are equivalent to any cardio workout out there. And no matter which one you choose to do, you can be sure it will improve your health! Now let’s see what these walking methods are.
Power walking: Power walking, often called speed walking, typically require to walk 7 to 9km/hour, meaning 4.5 to 5.5 mph. Many people opt for this activity instead of jogging because it burns as much energy and does less damage to the knees and feet. This technique also requires one foot to be in contact with the ground at all times.
Race walking: Race walking is a competitive sports event that requires a high level of endurance and fitness. There are two rules in race walking. The first one is that the foot must touch the ground at all times. This means the back of the toe must be on the ground until the front foot’s heel has touched the ground. The second is that one leg must stay straight until the body passes over the leg.
Fitwalking: Fitwalking is very similar to power walking. You need to walk at a brisk pace, 7 to 9 km/h, meaning 4.5 to 5.5 mph. As opposed to power walking, the feet can raise from the ground at any time
Nordic walking: Nordic Walking, which is also called, pole walking is a sport that performs with sticks that are a bit similar to ski poles. How does it work? You simply walk naturally by making bigger strides with your sticks keeping your shoulder relax and down. Nordic walking provides excellent cardiovascular and muscular exercise. The Nordic techniques make the whole body works harder and burn energy up to 46% more than regular walking.
Walking stroller is a workout for moms that just gave birth or Stay-at-home dads.
The technique is simple; you walk fast, pushing the stroller with the baby inside. According to researches, the stroller walking is beneficial in terms of burning energy and getting fit, but can cause neck cramping and back pain since both hands hold the stroller. Swinging the arms not only helps propel the body forward but also helps maintain a good posture, which prevents pain and injury.
Chi Walking: ChiWalking is a type of walking exercise that uses some Tai Chi techniques such as concentration, muscle relaxation, good posture, and begin slow. This method of walking requires from the walker to have his back straight, bent knees, and a small forward lean.
Why Is Walking Good For You?
Well, there are a lot of benefits of walking! It will improve your general Health! By walking fast consistently, You will
- Increase your heart rate.
- You strengthen your muscles.
- Lower your blood pressure
- It makes you in a good mood!
- It maintains the blood sugar level.
- It lowers the level of bad cholesterol.
Can You Lose Weight by Walking?
Yes, of course, you can. Any cardio work out helps you burn fat, and since walking is a cardio exercise, it will help you lose weight too. To get good results, though, the best is to walk a minimum of 30 minutes at least 3 times a week. The more you’ll walk, the more you’ll burn energy, and the more you lose! The secret sauce is to stick to it!
How To Get Started
The first thing you need to do is create a walking workout plan to build up your fitness habit and once you are ready, You can then start walking. If you are not used to it, begin with 10 minutes per day and gradually add more steps until you reach the 10000 steps per day goal. Walking is an awesome social activity. You can join a group, walk with friends, or with your children and it’s free. Like with any cardio workout, It’s always advisable to ask your doctor for a checkup before you start.
How To Stay Motivated?
It’s not always easy to keep our level of motivation up, especially when we do the same thing every day. There are a few ways though you can use to stimulate your motivation. Here are some of them.
- Go to work on foot.
- Listen to your favorite program or music while walking.
- Walk with friends or with a group.
- Schedule your time
- Take your dog for a walk.
- Change environments
Are you convinced now that walking is a sport? I am sure you do, but If not, then you should try by yourself and see the result you get. Anyway, walking is not only a sport but an enjoyable activity that can be practiced everywhere and that doesn’t require much equipment. Don’t say tomorrow I’ll start, that’s the biggest enemy of the motivation. So get ready and start walking today!
What about you? Do you think that walking is a sport? Let me know in the comments below.