As we become more and more sedentary and spend more time on our connected objects, walking is more than ever a beneficial activity.
Whether the walk is gentle or dynamic, 2,000 years ago, Hippocrates already affirmed it: "Walking is the best medicine for man".
Indeed, the benefits of walking on the body and mind are numerous :
- improvement of physical condition and state of health, namely reduction of cardiovascular diseases, blood pressure and bad blood cholesterol, prevention of osteoporosis and the consequences of osteoarthritis ...;
- better weight control, or even a real weight loss by coupling walking and healthy and balanced diet;
- improvement of psychic well-being by reducing anxiety and depression;
- improving quality and life expectancy, as well as healing processes.
The ideal is to walk a little bit each day to benefit from a cumulative effect.
How long will you ask? The benefits of walking can be felt from a daily practice of 30 minutes. This is achievable without much trouble during the lunch break or on the way to join or leave work or classes, for example.
In absolute terms, it is recommended to practice 150 minutes of activity per week. This is not rocket science. And if you're not motivated, well, put your favorite playlist in your ears to encourage you to get out!
Walking is also an opportunity to make beautiful discoveries. At the slow pace of walking, one takes the time to observe one's environment or nature. Everyone will tell you, walking is the best way to discover a city or region.
For those who don't like to walk alone, there are walking groups that offer programs that are as varied as they are inspiring.
Your walking pace must be personal depending on your age and your physical condition to limit any pain. Better to start gradually.
For a walker in good health, it is recommended to go from 90 to 110 steps per minute, ie to reach a speed of 4 to 5 km / hour.
One can also play on the variations of rhythm, without reaching the breathlessness. For example, alternate 5 minutes in 5 minutes for brisk walking and slow walking. And of course, you have to take breaks whenever necessary.
The effort can evolve over time by varying the duration, intensity and elevations.
To avoid pain or worse injuries, prepare your body during a warm-up phase. Start by slowly walking the first 5 minutes to relax the muscles and accelerate gradually.
Hydration, recovery and stretching at the end of the walk are very important.
Like any other physical activity, walking requires good equipment. Such as airy clothing adapted to the climate - raincoat rainy, hot in cold weather or loose and light in hot weather. Don't forget to cover your head, wear glasses or apply sunscreen whenever necessary.
Footwear is the centerpiece of walking equipment. You will need good shoes with which you can walk long without suffering from feet or back.
If good sneakers are enough, the most appropriate shoes are those designed for walking. Beyond suitable insoles, they are balanced so that they position you correctly and help you achieve a better distribution of effort. Your legs and your back will thank you.
If you plan to walk on uneven terrain, opt for hiking shoes with mid upper or high upper.
There are several categories of walking shoes to choose from depending on the type of walking performed : light and flexible hiking shoes for flat or hilly terrain, medium or high upper shoes for flat or hilly terrain, half-high or high upper for hilly and mountainous terrain, to end with the trekking shoes.