The six-minute walk test is the most maximal exercise test which entails the measurement of the distance walked over a span of six minutes. When people are healthy, the six-minute walk distance range from 400 – 700. The main predictor variables are height, gender, and age. A person who makes this test can take as many standing rests as he or she likes, but the timer should keep going and record the number of tests that are taken and the total rest time. Also, assistive devices can be used, but they must be documented.
Many people underestimate walking as a type of exercise. But, many studies are shown that placing one foot in front of the other leads to some seriously impressive physical and mental benefits. Walking can be good as a workout, if not better than running. Maybe walking is not a better workout than running, but it can be a better exercise choice for some people. Walking is a really good pattern of exercise and it can help you to make your fitness and weight–loss goals.
For some people who have health problems, like problems with knee, ankle and back problems, as well as for overweight people, walking can help them a lot. Walking is a lower impact exercise and it can be done for longer periods of time. There are no negative effects that you should stop walking. Walking has many health benefits, such as improving posture, circulation, cardiac health, reduce the risk of cancer and chronic disease, alleviates fatigue and depression, etc.
Also, walking can give you a boost in your mental health, so you should not doubt to do it on daily basis. Walking opens up the free flow of ideas. It is a plain and powerful solution to the goals of increasing creativity and increasing physical activity. Walking will boost your mood. Walking in nature can reduce the negative experiences and it increases activity in the brain associated with negative emotions and raises the risk of depression.
How to improve walking naturally:
Walking is the easiest, safest and cheapest type of exercise. You can do this type of exercise whenever you want and where you want. Walking can improve your balance. It can lift your mood. It can prevent serious illnesses, such as high blood pressure and heart disease. Walking is good for everyone. It is a low–impact exercise, which can help to prevent obesity and lift your mood up. But, many people do not work correctly, so they are hardly breathing and stop walking as they did it before. There are many natural ways which can help you to walk better and get more benefits from this exercise.
Swing your arms:
For most people, swinging their arms while they are walking should be second nature. As you are walking, you let your arms hang naturally at your side. Your arms should begin to move back and forth in small arcs as you start to walk. The quicker you walk, the larger the arcs. Moving your arms is a natural part of walking. It has been found to increase the efficiency of your stride. It allows you to walk farther on the same amount of metabolic energy than you would while keeping your arms still.
You should not be afraid to swing your arms as you walk. You should not worry, because you will not look like a power walker. If the weather is nice, try to keep your hands out of your pocket. When you do this, it allows you to receive the benefits of swinging your arms. This means that you will be able to walk faster and farther than you would otherwise.
Keep your shoulders pulled back, but relaxed:
The majority of muscles used to walk are in the legs and core, but you will still want to keep an eye on the posture of your upper body. When you keep your shoulders in a relaxed and pulled–back position serves several purposes. It maintains a stable and vertical column of support while you are walking and stretching from your neck to your hips.
This is working together with an elevated chin and a straight back to minimize the strain on your back as you walk and it prevents injury in the long – term. Also, it is a good habit to get into prevent slouching, which can result in shoulder pain and strain. When you pull your shoulders back, it makes you look good by projecting strength and confidence. It is a small, but significant point. In this way, you look great and you can protect yourself from injury in the process.
Use your muscle groups in the leg:
While you are walking, you should use your calves, hamstrings, and quadriceps. In this way, you will walk efficiently. Effective walking must include all muscle groups in your leg, not just one. As you are walking, you should visualize pushing off with your back foot using your hamstrings and quadriceps and propelling yourself forward onto the heel of your other foot. You should roll your foot forward, heel to toe, as you make your steps. This will bring calf muscles into play. You should use them to keep your feet at the correct angle for each step.
Stand upright as you walk:
Every single person has his own unique, individual gait. But, some common behaviors can improve almost everyone’s walking experience. Your posture is chief among them. As you are walking, you need to keep your head upright, your back straight, and your chin up. When you maintain this posture, then it will keep your spine straight. It will help you to breathe by taking pressure off your diaphragm. You need to resist the urge to slouch or hunch as you walk. As time passes bad posture can lead to back pain, a stiff neck, and even more serious maladies.
Start out at a reduced warm-up pace:
You need to keep a comfortable rhythm for the first minutes of your walk, as your body warms up. 100% is the absolute fastest you can walk without breaking into a run. You should try walking at 50 – 60% of this level of exertion. You should be able to speak normally and carry on a conversation without being breathless during your warmup. There is some debate on the matter, but general warmups have been shown to increase performance during cardiovascular exercise.
Increase your walking speed to moderate intensity after warming up:
When you feel comfortable while walking, you need to choose a place where you can start walking by 70 – 80% of your walking speed. You need to maintain good form as you pick up speed. At this speed, you may notice that you might start to breathe hard, but not gasp. You should be able to maintain a conversation. But, this will not be so easy. You need to resist the urge to start taking long and unnatural strides as you speed up.
When you are lengthening your gait in this way, then it stretches out your legs it destabilizes your core, which is leading to discomfort over time. If you want to improve your cardiovascular health, then you need to warm up and maintain the pace for at least thirty minutes, five times per week. Many studies are shown that breaking up this thirty-minute session into multiple chunks throughout the day is similarly effective, so long as you spend an equivalent time walking.
Cooldown at the end of your walk:
After you have maintained the elevated pace for thirty minutes or longer, you need to decrease your pace back to your warmup pace. You should spend five to fifteen minutes walking at this lower pace. The cool-down session at the end of a high–intensity walk will allow you to gradually return to your resting heart rate. Also, the plain just feels great.
This last point should be considered by your side as worth one. When you notice that you will feel awesome after exercise, then you will want to do it again and again. Also, the cooldown sessions can help to increase the long–term gains from exercise.
Get comfortable walking shoes:
You need to buy comfortable pair of walking shoes if you think to start with daily walking. When you have a good pair of walking shoes, then it can help to improve your gait and it will allow you to walk comfortably for longer than otherwise would. You should choose shoes that will provide good stability to help keep your feet straight as you walk, cushioning to protect your heels when you step, and the support for your ankle to prevent injury.
You should use a cotton shirt that can keep you comfortable by absorbing sweat. Also, you need to choose pants that do not inhibit your gait at all. Track pants, shorts, sweatpants, and even comfortable jeans are all possibilities. Also, choose suitable clothes for the weather, so you will not be interrupted if it starts to rain, for example.