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Brisk Walking: 6 Common Mistakes You Must Avoid

By Dr. Nikita Toshi +2 more

One of the easiest ways of ensuring that you stay fit and healthy is to go for a walk regularly. Walking every day has several health benefits. So, what is the difference between walking and brisk walking? When we say ‘I am going for a walk’, it could mean any pace- slow, moderate or fast. Theoretically, brisk walking refers to a walking speed of 3 miles per hour. Brisk walking is a more effective version of walking. Brisk walking is walking at a pace driven by your metabolic rate, to effectively achieve fitness and health. Anything around 100 steps a minute can be considered brisk walking as it varies slightly from person to person.

brisk walking

Benefits of brisk walking

What is a better way of staying fit than by walking briskly with a companion in the evening breeze? It is not very strenuous, less time consuming and manages to keep the fun in fitness.

There are several health benefits of brisk walking. Some of them are the following:

1. Boosts metabolism

Brisk walking ensures that the energy in your body is put to good use. The surplus food in our body is converted and stored as fats. Brisk walking helps maintain healthy storage of fat and burn excess calories. It promotes efficient digestion and utilization of food and improves the metabolic rate.

2. Improves mental health

A brisk walk may help clear your mind and be a healthy excuse to take a break from work. All the negative emotions that may accumulate throughout a day, find a vent of getting released through moderate physical activity that is not too exhausting.

3. Strengthens bones and joints

A regular brisk walk may improve your overall flexibility and strengthen your bones and joints. An active lifestyle ensures a reduced risk of joint-related problems.

4. Helps keep the body weight in check

A healthy metabolism may be beneficial for maintaining healthy body weight. A brisk walk when teamed with a balanced and nutritious diet, is a great way of staying fit.

5. Balances hormones

Brisk walking may help lower the stress hormones of the body, physical activity also releases endorphins which are responsible for feeling positive and content.

6. Makes you more energetic

An active lifestyle ensures that you are more energetic. Brisk walking may not only increase your energy levels but may also help you retain it throughout the day so that you do not become tired easily.

Did you know?

  • Brisk walking burns more kilojoules per hour than walking slowly and can help with weight loss. source: Better Health Victoria
  • Brisk walking is associated with lower systolic blood pressure compared to a slow walking pace. source: PMC
  • Brisk walkers have lower levels of glycaemia and HbA1c compared to slow walkers. source: PMC

6 common mistakes that you must avoid while brisk walking

Brisk walking is a great way to improve one’s health condition, however people concerned with knee joint health can resort to cycling which is a comparatively low-impact exercise with more benefits compared to brisk walking, one can start with indoor cycling with the least resistance mode and gradually increasing the resistance as per the advice of their health coach or physician

Dr. Nikhil Yadav, MBBS MD, CCEBDM

While you may think, what can be so difficult about walking, there are certain parameters, which if not followed, may render your efforts futile or even encourage negative results. 

Let us explore some common mistakes while brisk walking which you must address immediately.

1. The pace at which you walk

People often make the mistake of walking at an improper speed when out on a brisk walk. A slow walk may not be doing enough for achieving your fitness goals. A walk too fast may make you get exhausted soon and reduce the time and distance for which you walk. This, in the long run, may prevent you from achieving your desired level of fitness.

2. A tense body

A tense body including shoulders, neck and waist may restrict your range of motion.

3. Improper walking shoes

A brisk walk should only be done in proper walking shoes. Sneakers, sandals or other kinds of footwear may lead to foot problems in the long run.

4. An improper posture

An improper posture while brisk walking, such as slouched shoulders or a hunched back may lead to postural disorders like scoliosis.

5. Drinking packaged energy drinks or caffeine

It is a common practice to sip on packaged energy drinks or a coffee or packaged fruit juice while on a walk. These beverages are processed and contain high levels of added sugar. Even grabbing a coffee at the end of your walk may be reversing all your efforts into getting fit. Try to stick to water in case you feel thirsty while walking. Munch on some fresh fruits 15-20 minutes before going for a walk to meet your energy requirements.

6. Movement restricting clothing items

Tight and movement restricting clothing items such as skin fitting jeans and jumpsuits should be avoided when going for a walk. Activewear or light clothes breathable in nature should be worn to ensure maximum comfort while walking.

Take a sip of water at a time rather than gulping the whole water bottle. That will help you stay hydrated and feel active.

Brisk walking is a great way of achieving fitness since it is convenient, less time consuming and does not need a lot of equipment. However, some common mistakes such as wearing improper shoes, having a bad posture or walking at an extremely high speed should be avoided to get optimum results from your daily brisk walk.

Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.

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