Walk Your Way to Better Health

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Lao Tzu couldn’t have been more correct when he said this. Even at the physical level, this holds true. Before you advance to the more complex forms of fitness workouts, nothing quite beats the basics. And one of those basics is walking.

No matter how many new fitness contraptions come out each year, or whatever fitness craze is currently drawing crowds, walking is and will always be a good form of exercise. It’s a gentle exercise with low impact, and helps ease your way up the ladder of more intense workouts. Virtually anybody from any fitness level can walk. It’s easy to do, and hardly requires any practice.

walking as exercise, shoe walkingWalking as a form of exercise has numerous health benefits which cannot be discounted. It is known to lower your blood pressure and helps manage diabetes. Walking also raises the levels of good cholesterol in your body. Overall, your body stays strong, fit, and you get a general sense of well-being.

The nice thing about walking for fitness is that you don’t have to push your body to the limit just so you could reap its health benefits. Research shows that brisk walking on a regular basis helps reduce your risk of heart attack in the same way vigorous exercise does. Walking is a no-strain exercise regimen.

Although walking is pretty much low impact, you should still take extra care when preparing for it. Wear shoes with proper arch support.

To warm up, start off by walking slowly for about five minutes. You can increase the pace once you feel warm.

When you’re done warming up, you can do some stretching before your actual walk. Remember to stretch your calf muscles and hamstrings. To make it easy on your heart and muscles, end each walking session by cooling down. You can do this by walking slowly and then repeating those stretches.

As with anything, easy does it. Once you get the hang of walking, it’ll soon be a regular part of your fitness routine. Putting one foot in front of the other never felt so much fun.

HIIT – Do it Anywhere Workout

Higher, faster, better, stronger… I guess man will always want to push himself to the limit and try things which will enhance his physique. Whether it’s human nature or just me, I know for a fact that after having accomplished one thing, I always want to step up and dip my fingers into the next better thing.

Awhile back, I dabbled in Interval Training, and loved every bit of it. That’s like jogging for 2 minutes then walking the next. I seemed to thrive on those short workouts, and was keeping me fit which delighted me like a kid in a toy store. The fact that these exercises paid off has motivated me to go a step up in the fitness ladder and try out the next higher level- High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). Simply put, this refers to any type of workout which switches between intense bursts of activity and periods of less intense activity or total rest.

hiit workout

Pin it! (nevermind the graphics)

If you find yourself nodding in agreement and wanting to try this out too, here are some of the benefits of HIIT.

It doesn’t take time. HIIT is perfect for those who don’t seem to have enough hours in a day to do stuff. You can squeeze in some HIIT workout during your lunch break, as you will only need 15 minutes to do some interval training. As a start, you can run as fast as you can for one minute, then walk for the next. Do that 2-minute interval five times, and you’ve got your 15-minute fat-melting workout. Do this three times a week, and you’ve improved your aerobic capacity just as much as the next person who has done 6-8 weeks of endurance training.

You burn more fat. When you exert more energy using HIIT, your body repair cycle works in overdrive. This means that your body continues to burn calories for up to 24 hours after your workout.

It increases metabolism. More than the fat-burning benefits, HIIT also intensifies the levels of the human growth hormone or HGH in the body. This is responsible for burning calories and upping your metabolism.

HIIT is a do-anywhere, no-equipment type of workout which proves to challenge even the most seasoned athlete. If you’re someone who wants to see results fast, then this may very well be the best exercise regimen for you.


Choosing Music to Fuel Your Run


If Michael Jackson were alive today, he’d probably be singing to Beat It while doing his morning 3k run. Although images of him occasionally holding his crotch while sprinting may not exactly be too appealing, any serious runner would do well to follow his example- not so much the crotch-holding, but the part on using music to fuel your run.

Just like a soldier marching to cadence, listening to music while running does benefit the runner. For one, music puts one in the mood to be physically active. Once you hear the drum solo intro to a popular song, you just can’t help but lace up those running shoes and go. Music gives you the impression that running- or any type of exercise, for that matter- is fun. It envelops you in this mindset which motivates you to sweat it out while having fun.

running music

choose your beat (foto via zaggoragirl.com)

If you want to follow someone else’s lead when it comes to picking out songs for your running playlist, you can find a plethora of those on the internet. But if you feel that you’d do better with a customized list of songs, then go ahead and make your own playlist.

When choosing songs to pump you up while running, make sure to steer clear of songs which remind you of a painful part of your past. No matter how upbeat a ditty is, if it brings you to tears, don’t include that in your running playlist. Instead of energizing you, it will only bring you down- and it may even make you hold your crotch!

As you warm up before a run, you can listen to songs with a moderate tempo. They shouldn’t be too fast or too slow. If you get your heart pumping wildly this early on, you stand the chance of wearing yourself out too soon. This is the stage when you psyche yourself up for your run.

There’s a whole world of music out there, and your choice of songs are far from limited. Go be like Mike, and watch those other runners “rock with you”.


My love affair with Mizuno Wave Rider

Mizuno, ready to run.
Love at first sight is not particularly one tenet I subscribe to. Ask any of my friends, and they’ll tell you that I’m probably the last person on the face of the earth to believe that. But when it comes to the Mizuno Wave Rider 14, I hardly think that “love at first sight” is rubbish.

When I first laid eyes on a pair of wave riders, I immediately loved them. I knew I just had to have them. It was a selfish indulgence which I knew I deserved. Even before getting down to the nitty-gritty of the shoe, the candy colors they came in were more than enough reason to get them for myself. Suffice it to say, they were a sight for sore eyes.

On days when I’m feeling particularly emotionally rundown, I run to let off steam and to keep fit, so the Mizuno Wave Rider 14 is a perfect complement to that. It’s a shoe which hugs your heel with high-energy cushioning. It has high-tech flex grooves in the outsole. This minimizes foot fatigue.

A good running shoe needs superior cushioning and stability, and the Wave Rider delivers on both aspects. It has a wave design which allows for a springier step, transferring energy into velocity. It’s great for running those 5k marathons, as this shoe has flex lines designed with women in mind. I especially like its Mizuno Intercool feature. It’s a full-length midsole ventilation system which lessens heat and humidity inside the shoe.

With the type of support the Mizuno Wave Rider 14 gives me, I definitely won’t go around searching for another running shoe. So, I guess, shoes are pretty much like men: if they give you what you need, you won’t replace them for another. This is one love affair to last me a lifetime. ^_^