Plenty of people in the world today underestimate the benefits of walking or the benefits of walking backward.
Yes. Walking backward.
Did you know that when you walk for thirty minutes a day, you increase your heart rate and the overall activity of your body tissues and organs? Well, walking doesn’t only increase your activeness, but it also engages leg muscles, abs, arms, and basically every muscle you can think of. Perhaps it’s time you start using a backward walking routine in your daily training. It’s worth it.
What Health Benefits Does Walking Have?
Before we narrow down the benefits of walking backward, you must note the health benefits that walking has. Basically, walking is an exercise, just like biking or running. It’s just a low-impact form of exercise that most people can do. Old or young, walking is the best way to get the blood pumping and the body moving.
Some of The Cool Benefits of Walking:
- It helps to cut down body fat
- Improved body balance and strong bones
- Increased strength of muscles throughout the body
- Walking helps to manage medical cases and conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, muscle stiffness, and high cholesterol levels.
- Increased heart and lung fitness
- Helps to curb and monitor heart complications and some diseases
Doctors recommend people make walking a part of their daily activities. For example, if you need to run to a store that’s pretty close, choose to walk instead of drive. Sure, driving is quicker, but where’s the fun in that?
Does Walking Backward Burn More Calories?
Walking backward may seem crazy and awkward. Fitness trainers and physicians, however, have a different view. Walking backward engages your physical and mental being and helps your body to burn a few more calories. If you’ve tried this before, you may have noticed that it’s a little more demanding than just walking.
It requires agility and focus. This has immense benefits including improving your mental ability and concentration. Walking backward challenges your body muscles and makes your mind think differently.
Mental Benefits Of Walking Backwards:
- Improves mental coordination
- Improves your thinking
- Helps to combat workout boredom
- Enhances a unique sense of body activeness and awareness.
- Improves your moods
- Challenges you to move out of your comfort zone and dare new things and skills
Can You Go Backwards on An Elliptical or Treadmill, and Should You?
One of the best ways to reap immense health benefits from walking backward is using a treadmill or an elliptical. It’s a great way to work your calves and quads. It’s a great cardio alternative that really gets your heart racing and basically just improves your overall performance.
While it can be done on a treadmill I’d really suggest taking it slow to begin with. Even a snails pace to avoid falling. Think 1mph or lower. Once you build up the coordination and skill, feel free to bump up the speed to get those calves and quads burning. Spice it up even more with an incline.
Safety Measures and Tips to Avoid Injuries While Walking
Generally, walking is a safe exercise. However, unexpected hazards might knock on your door and you need to be conscious of them. Most of these tips are the ones you normally use when performing other fitness exercises. These safety concerns include:
- Consult your physician before you embark on a walking routine. They should be in a position to carry on some medical checkups on you and recommend the appropriate frequency of walking. They will also advise you on how much you should be walking every day. Medical advice should not be ignored.
- To avoid a case of sunburn, wear sunscreen, long sleeves, or hats if needed.
- Put on comfortable clothing. Choose a loose-fitting outfit to allow airflow.
- Put on some comfortable footwear to avoid hurting your feet and getting blisters. Shoes do wear out like most things in life, so make sure to keep up with proper footwear.
- Take a towel or waterproof cloth with you to wipe yourself down.
- If you’re trail walking or hiking, be careful to note areas that should be avoided such as cliffs or ravines.
- Drink plenty of water before and after walking. If you’re going for a long walk, bringing some water is a great idea too. I have a couple of CamelBak backpacks that I take almost everywhere. Biking, hiking or running.
- Try not to walk alone if you can help it. If that’s not an option make sure someone knows where you are and when you think you’ll be back.
Does Walking Tone Your Butt?
You should never underestimate the benefits of walking. Your body metabolizes any fat accumulations to release energy when you’re exercising. Walking is no exception.
Walking, especially on inclines really works your glutes. You won’t get that big butt your looking for strictly from walking, but it’s definitely a good start. The results may take weeks and even months to show up but with patience and regular walking schedules, you’ll be fine.
For a more defined and muscular glute area, you should consider working some weight training into your routine. HIIT workouts are another great way to get that whole body engaged and active.
A Few Fun Ideas to Consider
Schedule a routine family walk. Make it a weekly or even daily activity. Aside from reaping all the health benefits, this is a cool and ideal way to pass down some healthy habits to your children. When my girls were younger we would go to Valley Forge National Park at least once a week from Spring to Fall. So many great memories we’ll have forever.
If you’re with children though, be conscious of their age and abilities. I’m six foot, one inch so my strides are much bigger than a three foot 5 year olds. Just keep that in mind.
Start a walking group. This can include your neighbors and friends.
Go for a day hike with friends that ends at your local bar for a few drinks. (Just keep the drinks, low calorie)
Remember to consult regularly with your doctor. Some individuals with heart conditions and complications may be restricted from doing certain exercises. So, it’s important to know the amount of strain that your body can handle.
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