Quick Exercise Tip with Suzie Cooney: Walking for Exercise

“Just go!”

The benefits of walking for exercise are amazing. Besides not needing to go to a gym, or the need for equipment that’s the first thing. Second, by just simply striking the ground with your own body weight

with that natural force production on your muscles and joints, allows for a gentle and normal stress to the body. This alone can tone your entire body,especially your legs and butt.  The average speed of walking at a normal pace is about 2.5 to 3 miles per hour.  You’ll burn more calories if you walk faster and the other side of the shoe is you’ll build your endurance muscles and gain more muscle endurance if you walk a longer distance. Both is wonderful.

Benefits of Walking:

Help you lose weight
Preserve muscle tone and strength
Good for you mental health
Reduce heart risk
Increase your metabolism
Increase bone strength
Give you a healthier outlook on life
Is a great warm up or cool down for your main workout

We often take the most simple things for granted.  In 2003 I suffered serious back pain to where I could barely walk. I had had a previous back surgery from other injuries and had re injured it after a dirt bike accident here on Maui.  That was it. I was down a hole and had to have friends come over and take turns helping me to the bathroom and then taking turns to shop and feed me.

Walking was my friend and it was all I could do to even try. When I could complete 1 mile I was over the moon happy. Then over time, slowly but steady I rebuilt my strength. Then a freak accident occurred in 2009 where I broke my legs and had to start over again after I lost all the muscles in my legs.  My back was fine, and I knew this time I would walk again, it would just be a longer road then the last. I’m very grateful for my health and strength.

To increase your walking exercise to a higher level, simply walk faster for a short distance and then slow down to a normal pace and repeat.   You can also find a hill or two to add to the intensity. Remember to keep good posture as you begin to climb or as the elevation changes and keep your breath steady.

You can also give yourself little goals.For example time yourself or have a set distance in your mind and gradually add to that.  You’ll be amazed how great you’ll feel.

Drop a line and let me know if you’re a walker too. I’d love to hear from you.

All in all it’s still a great workout and in my book of training it counts! So go!

Mahalo and in good health,

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Suzie Cooney
Suzie Trains Maui

Suzie Cooney

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