Walk this way
Therapeutic massage in Whitchurch
Walking is the most simple, basic exercise we can do.
While any walking helps to stretch out the muscles and mobilise joints, to make the most of it as an exercise, put a bit of oomph into it. A good rule of thumb is that you should still be able to carry on a conversation, while walking briskly.
If you haven’t walked for a while, start slow and build up. A 5-minute walk round the block is an excellent starting point and over time, you can build up to 30 minutes 3-4 times a week.
You may also want to try longer walks of 2-3 hours or even a whole day. The joy of walking is that, not only does it exercise your body, but it is infinitely good for the soul, especially if you traverse natural landscapes as part of your walking route. Breathing in fresh air and soaking in natural sounds and smells is deeply beneficial for wellbeing.
If the weather is too cold, or even too hot, for walking, you can keep up with your daily steps on the treadmill at the gym or a stepping machine at home.
However you choose to walk, here’s a few tips to make sure that you stay in great shape and take care of your body while you do.
Before you do anything, warm up by walking on the spot and gently swinging your arms for a couple of minutes to get your body in motion. Then stretch your legs and feet as follows.
Sitting or standing, rotate your ankle all the way round in one direction 3 times, then the other 3 times. Do this sequence 3 times then repeat on the other side.
While sitting, stretch your leg out in front of you and pull your foot towards you so it is fully flexed. Hold for 20 seconds. Repeat 3 times then do the same on the other side.
Quadriceps (front of thigh)
Standing, face a wall and put one hand out onto the wall. Lift the opposite leg up behind you and hold your foot with your hand of the same side, so you are standing on one leg with the other folded up behind you. Hold for 20 seconds and do this 3 times. Do the same with the other leg.
Hamstrings (back of thigh)
Standing, put one leg out in front of you with your foot turned up so the toes are pointed upwards. Lean down towards this foot as far as you can so you are holding it with the hand on the same side and hold for position 20 seconds. Do this 3 times then repeat on the other side.
Stand with your feet hip width apart and knees slightly bent. Turn your right foot out to the side at a 90 degree angle or as close as you can get. Hold for 20 seconds then return to your starting position. Do this 3 times then repeat on the left side.
Stand with feet a little wider than hip width apart and step your right leg forwards. Lunge into your right leg so your knee is bent. Hold for 20 seconds and do this 3 times. Repeat with the left leg.
Do these stretches again when you finish your walk before having a well-earned rest.