Walking for Fitness

walkingJust how fit are you? Is touching one’s toes a good gauge or maybe swimming 100 laps? Just what is a good way to measure one’s level of fitness? One of the best ways to determine your level is by walking. And this article simply helps you to answer the different questions one might have about this very basic activity.

We start off with how to use walking as a gauge to measure your level of fitness. It’s very important that you find out whether you are fit or not. You can actually do that by trying the flat 1-mile test. So warm up for around 5 minutes, stretch your calves and hamstrings and then walk one mile for as quickly as you can without running out of breath. The benchmark for the age groups is this:

  • Under 30: Walking a mile in 13 minutes means that you’re in great shape.
  • 30 to 39: Finishing a 14-minute mile allows you to be in the "great shape" category.
  • 40 to 49: If you can walk under a mile in just under 15 minutes (14 minutes, 45 seconds for example), you’re considered to be at the top level of fitness for your age group.
  • 50 to 69: Finish a 15-minute mile and that means you are in excellent shape.
  • 70 or over: If you can walk a mile in 18 minutes, 18 seconds, pat yourself on the back because that means you are very fit for your age.

If in any case you exceed the ideal time for your age group by around three to six minutes, it’s considered that you’re not in the best shape aerobically. However, don’t worry about it. Just keep walking. You will be able to lower your time by consistently exercising and walking over and over.

You should remember to stay injury-free whenever you walk so you should always be mindful of the pain that you are feeling every time you walk. There are instances when your hands swell. It’s because of the amount of blood that rush to your fingers. Try to squeeze your hands into fists every now and then while you walk. This will help the blood circulate in your hands.

You might also notice some pain in front of your legs from time to time, especially if you’re trying to do too much too soon. This is shinsplints and it is a common problem that beginning or overenthusiastic walkers experience. You may notice a burning pain in your shins. If you continue on working and walking at the same level you are, then you might discover that your shin and calf muscles will be hurting every time you push really hard.

So remember that walking will get you to be fit in the long run. Just make sure that you don’t overdo it to the point that you always experience some pain whenever you walk. Be always mindful of the signs that your body is telling you and you’ll be walking your way to fitness in no time flat.