Stay Active Every Week by Walking a Monday Mile
It may seem like a leisurely activity, but walking is most definitely a workout. Moving at a brisk pace—whether it’s around the neighborhood, through the park, or up-and-down city streets—can help improve endurance, heart health, bone strength, flexibility, and weight management. And since it’s a low-impact exercise, walking is an excellent option for people of all ages and ability levels.
By committing to a 20-minute walk every Monday, you’re likely to burn around 100 calories and add between 2000-3000 steps to your daily count. With a little preparation, you can easily incorporate a Monday Mile into your weekly routine.
Pick a Time
In the morning while walking the dog, during a lunchbreak, or just before dinnertime are all excellent points of the day to get in a 20-minute walk. Walking has the power to both energize and relax, so take that into consideration when scheduling.
Like any other exercise, it’s wise to warm up a bit before going for your walk. Loosen the muscles and get the blood flowing by doing a few shoulder shrugs or shoulder circles. Add in some jumping jacks, and your body will be primed for walking.
Use the Proper Form
The correct walking form is necessary to reduce the risk of injury or strain. Pay attention to your posture, arm movement, stride, and foot motion. Remember to hold your head high, put your shoulders back, stand up straight, and tighten your mid-section.
You may be warmed up, but walking at a strolling pace for the first couple minutes helps get the blood flowing to the leg muscles, as well as relieve initial stiffness.
Pick up the Pace
As you feel your body start to loosen up, increase the speed of your walk. You don’t want to feel like you’re running, but rather moving with a sense of purpose. A helpful way to do this is to use the rhythm of your arm motion to dictate your speed.
After 10-15 minutes of fast-pace walking, spend the remaining few minutes moving at a more leisurely pace. A cooldown allows body temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure to return to their normal levels.