UNITED STATES: Michelle Obama has always promoted the importance of women’s health and fitness. The former First Lady also took it to Instagram on the occasion of US’ National Walking Day on 7 April.
Michelle stressed the importance of walking for one’s physical and mental health and in the greater sense, choosing to prioritize oneself.
The caption of the post read: I hope you all can take a little time to get some steps in. I know it’s not always easy. We’re always juggling so much. But trust me, getting a little walk-in is good for both your physical and mental health – and that’s something we all can use, especially these days.
Considering how most countries are seeing a similar trend of lockdown as last year, Michelle added: Whether you’re taking a socially distanced walk around your neighborhood or just walking around your home, I’d love to hear how you plan to put yourself higher on your to-do list today.
The science behind walking
According to experts brisk walking can help lower the risk of heart diseases, provided it is done at least five days a week. It keeps a check on the blood sugar level and keeps sane your mental health.
American Heart Association says that your target heart rate for moderate-intensity exercise is around 50 to 70 percent of your maximum heart rate, and for vigorous activity, the target heart rate is about 70 to 85 percent of the maximum heart rate.
The maximum heart rate is 220 beats per minute (bpm) minus your age in years.
But, walking is often looked at as a boring and less effective exercise due to some common mistakes that people make.
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Here are some things that you need to know.
- Mindful walking: Understand how your body feels — from head, all the way to the toe. That is the most basic yet important thing that you can do.
- Right pair of shoes: They provide good cushioning and protect your feet from developing painful corns.
- Walk briskly: Avoid taking long strides as it can cause you leg injuries. Take smaller steps instead.
- Take breaks: Experts say that regular interval while walking help burn more fat, improve your stamina and fitness level.