Walking Workout Guide

Walk your way to a slimmer, more toned you!
Walking is arguably one of the best cardio workouts around. Safe, easy and effective, walking helps you lose weight, sculpt your entire body and feel energized. For optimal benefits, fitness experts recommend aiming for 10,000 steps a day.

Develop a good walking form

Maintaining good form while you walk will help you burn more calories as well as avoid injury. Therese Iknoian, author of Fitness Walking, shares the guidelines to keep in mind during every walking workout.

1. Your posture

Keep your head up and centered between your shoulders. Focus your eyes straight ahead, keeping your shoulders back and down. "Your posture should be tall and erect no matter what your walking speed or level," explains Iknoian. Tighten your abdominals and pull your belly button gently in toward your spine so you feel stable and upright.

2. Your arm swing

Your arms should be bent at 90 degrees, making the swing quick and compact. "Power your arm swing with your back muscles," says Iknoian. "The more you engage the back muscles in the arm swing, the more you'll tone them."

As you walk, swing your arms back and forth (instead of side to side which drags down your pace), and keep your elbows close to your sides. This ensures that your arms propel you forward. Your hands should be slightly cupped, like you're holding a fragile raw egg in each cupped palm, adds Iknoian.

3. Your stride

Power your movements from your hips rather than your thighs, but keep your hips loose and natural. Take short, fast strides that still feel natural. "Avoid the natural tendency to take longer strides to go faster," says Iknoian. Land firmly on your heels and roll smoothly to push off with your toes. Think of planting your heel and then pushing off as you roll through your foot.

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