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Overstriding to Monotonous Routine: 5 common walking mistakes sabotaging your fitness goals

Learn how to optimise your walking routine for better fitness results. Improve posture, stride, pace and more to enhance effectiveness and reduce the risk of injury.

Rahul Pratyush Written By: Rahul Pratyush New Delhi Published on: February 27, 2024 8:45 IST
walking mistakes
Image Source : GOOGLE 5 walking mistakes sabotaging your fitness goals

Walking is often touted as one of the simplest and most effective forms of exercise, yet many people unknowingly make mistakes that undermine their fitness efforts. Whether you're walking for weight loss, cardiovascular health, or simply to stay active, avoiding common pitfalls is essential for maximising the benefits of this low-impact activity. In this article, we'll explore five common walking mistakes that may be sabotaging your fitness goals. By identifying and addressing these errors, you can make the most out of your walking routine and achieve better results.

Incorrect posture and form:

Maintaining proper posture and form while walking is crucial for maximising the effectiveness of your workout and minimising the risk of injury. Common mistakes include slouching, looking down at your feet, and swinging your arms excessively. To correct these issues, focus on standing tall with your shoulders back, looking straight ahead, and swinging your arms naturally in sync with your stride.

Overstriding:

Overstriding occurs when you take steps that are too long, leading to inefficient movement and increased strain on your joints. This can result in discomfort or injury, particularly in the knees and hips. To avoid overstriding, aim for a natural stride length where your feet land directly beneath your body. Focus on taking shorter, quicker steps to maintain a steady pace without overreaching.

Walk too slowly or too quickly:

Finding the right pace is essential for optimising the cardiovascular benefits of walking. Walking too slowly may not provide enough intensity to challenge your heart and lungs while walking too quickly can lead to fatigue or burnout. To determine your ideal walking pace, aim for a speed where you can comfortably carry on a conversation without feeling out of breath. Adjust your pace as needed to maintain a moderate level of exertion throughout your walk.

Monotonous routine:

Repeating the same walking routine day after day can lead to plateaus in fitness and motivation. Neglecting variation and progression limits your body's ability to adapt and improve over time. To avoid this mistake, incorporate variety into your walks by changing routes, terrain, or intensity levels. Additionally, gradually increase the duration, distance, or intensity of your walks to continually challenge your body and stimulate progress.

Skipping warm-up and cool-down:

Failing to warm up properly before walking and cool down afterwards increases the risk of injury and may impair recovery. Warm-up exercises prepare your body for activity by increasing blood flow to your muscles and improving flexibility. Similarly, cooling down helps gradually lower your heart rate and prevent muscle stiffness. Incorporate dynamic stretches and light cardio activity into your warm-up and static stretches into your cool-down to optimise performance and reduce the risk of injury.

ALSO READ: Walking, jogging, yoga and strength training effective tools against depression: Study

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