By Erich "Coach E" Nall
This week's Ultimate Transformation Moment highlights walking. Walking is the most basic foundation to fitness. Walking is a gentle and low impact exercise that can gradually ease a beginning fitness enthusiast on to higher levels of fitness and health. Walking is one of the body's most natural forms of exercise. It's safe, simple, and there is no need to practice how to be a better walker.
This week's focus is centered on walking because this is where the initial assessment of my clients begins. The wellness program begins with a review of overall stamina and lung capacity. Initiating walking as the foundation of the wellness results in two very important outcomes:
First, the development of an aerobic capacity is increased. Aerobic capacity is the ability to increase the supply of oxygen to the body. This is so important in any fitness program because this is how the capacity to workout longer and harder happens. This is the foundation for growth in your fitness program.
Second, walking assists the body in the development of overall strength in the lower body and in the core area. These also enhance the ability to access potential to increase the workouts with greater challenges.
Once the decision is made to start walking, make sure to wear a good and stable pair of running shoes. Yes, an actual running shoe will provide the adequate support and relieve a great deal of pressure off the joints. Stretch before walking, especially the achilles tendons. The achilles is found at the back of the leg, from the heel of the foot, to the base of the calf muscle. This is done with a simple stretch, called 'pushing the wall down.' This stretch is achieved by facing a wall, then reaching out with both hands toward the wall. Lean forward at approximately a 30 degree angle, resting both palms on the wall. With both feet planted firmly on the ground, bend one leg slightly. Feel the stretch at the back of the leg, which has been left straight. Alternate legs.
Finally, map out a walking course before setting out. Focus on the time/duration of the walk, not the distance. Begin with a walking timeframe of 30 to 60 minutes. Within this time, focus on walking at a comfortable pace and make sure the arms are engaged and active throughout the activity. Walk at this comfortable pace, until the walk reaches an hour. At this point, instead of increasing the time walked, reduce the time and increase the pace of the walk. Walk a little faster.
The subtle change in speed will help the body to burn more calories, eventually resulting in weight loss.
It is sometimes easier to walk with encouragement. Find a partner. Get a group of people together for a walk. Find a walking club. Come together as a community, but get out and get the 30 to 60 minutes of walking. This is the beginning of reaching a fitness goal. Let's get the body back to ultimate shape, and in time, the desire to run may surface!
That's our Ultimate Transformations Moment for this week.
Peace and be more!
Erich Nall is the Owner and Founder of Ultimate Transformations Training (www.ultimatetransformations.com) in Los Angeles, California. He has coached and trained many successful professional athletes, actors, models and others in the entertainment industry for the past 18 years. The certified trainer, nutritionist, motivational speaker, and dedicated life coach is a regular guest and commentator on KJLH 102.3 FM's the "Front Page with Dominique DiPrima" and writer for Volleyball Magazine.