Did you notice the sarcasm there? Let me clarify. I agree wholeheartedly that walking is an essential exercise for not only postnatal women but human beings generally. It has many benefits (see below) and most of us need to do more of it. But, chances are you are talking the same route at the same pace and expecting improved results. If we want to see lasting benefits we need to mix it up so that our bodies continue to adapt. It is not simply enough to go for a walk.
Check out our top 5 tips for effective walking workouts and let us know if you see a difference in your results.
Benefits of Walking
- Clears the head and lifts the spirit (gets the happy hormones flowing)
- Great for heart health
- It's free!
- It gets you outdoors in your neighborhood
- Strengthens bones and muscles
5 Tips for Effective Walking
- Vary your distances. Alternate short walks with long walks.
- Vary the surfaces you walk on. Our muscles get used to walking on one type of surface all the time (like a footpath). Vary the terrain to keep your muscles working and adapting to different environments.
- Where possible wear flat shoes. When you wear shoes with a heel (even running shoes which are higher at the back) there is a chain reaction through your joints with ultimately a tilting of the pelvis which takes you out of your natural alignment and will not be helpful for your pelvic floor. A thinner based shoe will also help you to connect with the terrain on which you are walking.
- Swing your arms. A good swagger is important for the functioning of the core and the relationship between the diaphragm and pelvic floor. Strut your stuff. If walking with a pram, hold with one hand and swing the other then swap occasionally (provided the terrain allows you to do this safely)
- Bring a friend. Talking while walking is not only enjoyable but makes exercise more physically challenging.
- 5 min warm up walk, medium pace
- Find a hill and go up and down three times (if no hill available, 15 lunges walks with 15 paces walking x 3)
- 30 sec fast walk, 30 sec moderate walk x 5 times
- Find a step, gutter, rock that you can safely step up and down on, do step ups for 1min