In order to achieve greater stability, the following should be observed:
- The body should always be upright
- Face should be positioned out in front (not facing downwards)
- The heel should be planted first and rolled - then push off with the toe
- Toes should face forward (not to the side, not even slightly sideways)
- Shoulders should be slightly back
- Arms should move in opposition to legs (i.e. left arm should be back when left leg is forward).
1) Speed or Power Walking
You need a steady rhythm and one that is brisk enough to raise a light sweat. The arms must move as well as the legs. Take longer than normal walking strides, and make sure comfortable shoes with good support and comfortable clothes are worn. In order to increase the speed and energy expended, you need to push back hard on each step. Keep the elbows bent and fists lightly closed.
A 10 minute power walk can be an excellent start to an aerobics workout. A 20-30 minute power walk by itself can be a great workout.
This type of walking can require a little more motor skill coordination than other types, particularly if it is to be sustained for a full workout period of half an hour or more.
2) Pole Walking
This involves walking with two walking sticks (poles). It is the safest and perhaps best way to increase aerobic effort in a walk. The poles are used in a similar manner to ski poles. By pushing on the poles as you walk, the intensity of exercise is increased and at the same time you are provided with greater stability. The poles work better if they have rubber bases to absorb jarring.
A beginner who walks this way at a rate of 4-5 km per hour may get a useful workout. For more advanced training, the walking rate should increase to 6-7 km per hour.
3) Weighted Walking
This involves carrying weights as you walk, either in your hands or via weights attached to your body (e.g. in a weight belt). Excessive use of weights can however strain the parts of the body which supports the weights - so it requires consideration of other ailments or injuries, strengths and weaknesses.
For most unfit people, jogging continually for half an hour or more can move the workout from aerobic into an anaerobic phase. This will depend on the fitness level of the person. A better alternative is intermittent jogging or walking. This can be done with or without a treadmill.
Generally, for beginners, it is advisable to jog for 100 to 200 metres and then walk for 50 metres. This pattern is then repeated over and over for half an hour. Another option is to alternate a 5-minute jog and 2-minute walk, depending on the fitness level. A very unfit beginner might start with a 1-minute jog followed by a 1-minute walk. You would then adjust the schedule as fitness improves.
Advanced training may involve: a faster rate of jogging for similar distances, lengthening the jogging segments, or an overall increase in the duration of the session (e.g. instead of a 25-minute workout, perhaps a 45 minute to 1-hour workout).
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