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Fitness: How to Walk Longer, Quicker Walks

I've been walking this path outside our residence for over a week now. Give or take, it's about 1.7 kilometers, one way. I love this path,  it's one road that goes all the way to a bird trail area. The path goes up and down, giving a variety of challenges and workouts along the way. After a week of that routine, I can confidently feel that I can go longer. It takes me between 14-17 minutes to do each 1.7 km route. I've also learned that certain modifications enable me to walk longer or finish the route faster. I'm sharing these tips today:

1. Get Plugged Into Some Music
Ohio State Research News reported that study participants who listened to music while walking covered 21 percent more distance than those who did not. Try it and you'll feel the difference as I did. Each time I put those Apple earpods on, plugged them into my mobile phone for music playback (and call notifications), I was able to go farther without even noticing or pushing for it.

2. Work on Your Breathing
I found that I can release the tension and exhaustion by doing breathing reps. At times I find myself holding my breath when I'm on an inclined path. Tension sets in and I focus on surviving the upward walk, and it's not good. I feel more tired whenever I did that. So, I try to pay more attention to the way I breathe and make sure that I release the tension and tired feeling through inhaling and exhaling relaxedly. LiveStrong lists some good breathing techniques. I vary using most of them (I don't do the mantras).

3. Maintain proper arm position.
 If you want to do some arm stretching during walks, it's fine. If you want to go for faster walks, there are some adjustments you need to make. Make sure to maintain your arm raises to below breast level only. And each must simply move straight forward not across your body. gives a good explanation here.

4. Warm-up before the walk.
Yes, it's very much needed. This eliminates much of the strain and struggle during the walk. I do quick stretches. I do tiptoe reps and sideward bends. suggest a 3 minute warm-up combination of ankle circles, leg swings, pelvic loops, and arm circles. Check it out here.

5. Water up before and during a walk.
Muscles depend on hydration for proper movement. I drink a glassful of water before I go out the door and when I plan to walk farther, I bring a small bottle with me and take sips along the way.  Some recommend a cup more every mile.


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