Living a healthy active life is far easier than most people are led to believe.
There’s non-stop advice on the internet telling you to go to the gym every day. If you don’t you can’t lose weight or get fit. And that’s a myth!
While gym time is mostly time well spent, it’s not the only way to get fit. In fact, folks tend to spend too much time in the gym, which can make you sick, setting you back for weeks or more.
Overtraining and overeating are common problems with gym fanatics.
- Overtraining leads to burn-out and your immune system to weaken.
- Overeating causes excessive calorie consumption and weight gain.
- Consuming too many calories, cancels out the calories burned in your gym routine.
The key as always is balance and not to overdo it.
Walking and Planking are time savers.
Finding enough time to work out is often an issue for many folks. The feeling of being under time pressure can result in stress which isn’t conducive to a positive mindset.
And that is where these 2 super simple yet so powerful exercise methods come in very handy.
Walking and Planking are 2 easy yet effective ways to work out, are available to you for free, wherever you may be, and at any time of the day.
If you only walk and plank for the rest of your life, you’re already doing a lot of good to your body and mind, keeping you strong, and your mind creative and positive.
Walking is great for your joints, muscles, organs and bones. It also frees your mind from stress and helps you be a more creative person.
Scientific reports have shown significant benefits if you increase your daily steps to 15000.
Let’s take a look.
Physical Benefits of Walking:
- Burns fat — walking is a cardio exercise that keeps you within the aerobic fat burning zone of 180 maximum heart rate, minus your age.
- Walking helps you lose weight.
- Lowers your blood pressure.
- Walking can lower the risk of stroke.
- It’s easy on your joints, especially ankles, knees, and back, compared to pounding running, which causes injury and arthritis.
- Walking builds bone strength, as the low impact supports bone density.
- Walking is excellent for your heart health, as your heart is never overstressed while walking.
- Stimulates all of your organs to work more efficiently.
- Fantastic for your legs, especially if you walk in the sand, or are trekking hills, in forests, or hiking. Walking builds powerful and lean muscles.
- Have a headache? Walking in the fresh air will help get rid of it.
- Are you feeling tired or sluggish in the morning? A fast-paced walk will bring a spring back in your step.
- Poor posture, from your desk job and slouching? Walking corrects your posture.
- Barefoot walking: Walking connects you with nature and is grounding. Barefoot walking, especially in the sand, grass, or dirt, stimulates the muscles and nerves in the feet and creates a deeper connection to the earth.
- Reduces stress and anxiety.
- Is your mind blocked? Go for a walk, it will free your mind and stimulate the creative side of your brain.
- Depressed? Depression is one of the hardest illnesses to overcome. I suffered from depression for several years, walking and meditation are what helped me the most to reign in depression.
- Agitated or upset? Walking will relax and calm your mind, bringing back a sense of balance and clarity.
- Walking is one of best ways to improve your overall health and live longer. www.consumerreports.org
- Walking can lower the risk of cancer. www.cancer.org
- In a review of studies published in 2014 in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, researchers found that walking for roughly 3 hours a week was associated with an 11 percent reduced risk of premature death compared with those who did little or no activity.
- Improves memory and cognitive function.
Time for the plank.
The plank (like walking) is such a simple yet so beneficial exercise, yet most mistake the plank as only an abdominal exercise.
However, it’s much more than that.
Planking requires your full mental focus, huge determination and willpower to achieve your goals and break through barriers.
On the physical side, planking works your whole core muscle area, as well as your lower back, shoulders, arms, neck and even your legs.
In other words, while the burning sensation is mostly felt in your core area, you’re intensively engaging your whole body during a plank.
Planks help your posture, over time supporting your body to be properly aligned, which will make you walk and stand more upright.
Not only does that look good, it’s essential to keep a good posture to avoid back and neck problems later in life.
In addition, there are multiple planking variations, which spice up the plank, making it interesting and very challenging.
- Sideways on Elbows
- Sideway on your Hands
- Push-up Method
- Reverse Plank
- Downward Dog
- Twisting Sideways
- Up and Down Movement
Besides all of these various plank positions, you can and should try to beat your planking time record every week.
Once or twice a week you should try a “Plank Time Challenge.”
With this method, you’re simply going to get into the classic plank and hold it for as long as you can.
If your best time so far was 1 minute, aim for 1.5 or 2 minutes, and so on. Every week, challenge yourself to add another 15 to 30 seconds to your longest planking time.
Next, set yourself a 1-month or 3-month goal: “I will manage to plank for 5-minutes non-stop within 30 days.”
And guess what? It’s totally doable. I know as I did it a few times already. My record planking time is now 7 minutes, non-stop. I never thought I’d manage to get to 7 minutes, but I did!
It may burn, but it’s all in your mind. As long as you stay focused, keep calm and stay determined, your mind can ignore the pain and fight on for several minutes.
This exercise makes you much stronger in body and mind, and vastly improves your confidence.
You really don’t need to do a lot or spend tons of time to get fit, be healthy and strong, inside and out.
Sure, adding some strength training and other methods in the gym or outside, using your body weight or weights is great too. The key takeaway here is understanding that you needn’t spend ages working out nor must it be grueling. Your exercise time should be enjoyable and fun instead!
You can complete body and heart-healthy workouts in little time with these 2 simple methods: walking and planking, and enjoy life!
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