Here in Dubai, with long hot summers, an early morning or late evening walk is a great way to stay fit.
At iCare Clinics, we believe that staying healthy, being fit is the best way to feel good. Our doctors agree that walking is one of the easiest and best ways to maintain your fitness and have a regular exercise routine. Walking is increasingly becoming a very popular form of exercise. Particularly, here in Dubai, with long hot summers, an early morning or late evening walk is a great way to stay fit. Every morning or evening, you will see dozens of people, young and old walk on the smooth surface around Safa Park, here in Dubai.
Walking is an easy to start, easy to maintain regimen. The benefits of walking have been proven in numerous studies. An eight-year study of 13,000 people found that those who walked 30 minutes a day had a significantly lower risk of premature death than those who rarely exercised.
A regular walking program can help:
•Lower blood pressure
Take the first step...
A walking program is easy to start. The only things you will need are comfortable clothes and shoes. Wear loose clothing, keeping in mind that exercise elevates the body's temperature. Remember to get comfortable shoes – ones designed specially for walking are best. You can walk outdoors or on a treadmill at the gym in them.
Every walk should begin with a brief warm-up and a few simple stretches. Walk around the house or in place for a few minutes to get the blood flowing to the muscles before you attempt to stretch them. Although walking works the major muscles of the legs, don't forget to stretch your back, shoulders and arms. This will help to loosen up any muscular tension you have, and make the walk more beneficial.
If you have never walked specifically to exercise, you can make your walking regimen less strenuous by limiting how fast and far they walk. Keep in mind the following:
1. Walk short distances. It's best to start with a five-minute stroll and gradually increase your distance.
2. Speed is not essential to start with. Walk at a pace you are comfortable with. What is important is good posture – keeping your head lifted and shoulders relaxed.
3. Swing your arms naturally, and breathe deeply. If you can't catch your breath, slow down or avoid hills. Breathing right is an essential part of walking to exercise.
4. Be sure you can talk while walking. If you cannot have a normal conversation you may be walking too fast.
Walking is one fitness activity that allows you several options. Once you have reached a point where you can walk a few kilometers with ease, you can start to vary the intensity.
Walking up a gradient, in addition to increasing your cardiovascular endurance, is a great way to tone the legs. This is difficult in Dubai, but if you are at a gym, you can do this. You may also want to focus on lengthening your stride or increasing your speed. And don't forget to work-down after each walk with a few relaxing stretches to help prevent sore muscles.
Listening to music while you walk is also a great way to "support" your workout. If you wear headphones, keep the volume down and watch out for traffic that you may not hear.
Keep track of your progress. Usually, doctors or fitness instructors recommend that you walk a minimum of 20 minutes a day. But there are no hard and fast rules. Fit walking into your schedule whenever you can. That may mean two 10-minute walks each day, or even hour-long walks two to three times a week. The best schedule is one that keeps you walking and keeps you fit!