How to walk so that in 20 minutes of exercise a day you burn 40% more calories?
Walking is one of the healthiest sports that exist, even more so than running since, being low impact, there is very little chance of injuring the joints, especially the knees and ankles, which suffer the most from running. But that’s not why it’s light activity, it’s more, walking can burn more calories than running.
It is calculated that a person of average height and weight spends one calorie every 20 steps, a figure that increases if the pace is accelerated: walking at a good pace in 30 minutes burns about 90 calories. In other words, depending on your speed and your weight, in one hour you can burn between 60 and 200 calories, a very wide range that is also influenced, for example, by the direction in which you walk: by doing it in only one direction they expend more calories than walking on several different ones, according to a study. And as strange as it may seem, it has a reason: when we walk in various directions we take breaks and physical activity is not continuous, so energy expenditure is less.
But speed, weight and direction are not the only things that condition our energy expenditure; Also the way you walk. Doing it with the help of some sticks, contrary to what it may seem, implies much more exercise, so much so that the amount of calories burned is increased by 40%. Why? Because the two rods drive and speed up the rhythm.
If you want to do it right, this technique, known as Nordic walking, involves lengthening your arms as much as possible when stretching and contracting them when swinging to walk. Also that the point where the stick rests coincides with the point of gravity of the body.
This sport, whose origins are in Finland and its neighbouring countries and which has come to our country with force – it is currently one of the tourist attractions in towns on the Costa Dorada such as Calafell – can be done at any age and is suitable for everyone levels of demand and, in addition to helping you burn calories, it has many other benefits:
- Strength work. It is a very complete aerobic exercise that works resistance, strength, flexibility, coordination and balance. Combining these routines prevents vascular risks.
- It helps you lose weight. With Nordic walking, more than 20% of energy is spent than walking -even up to 40% more-, and if it is done well, it ends up moving 90% of the muscular system. By combining it with a healthy and adequate diet, we further increase the percentage of calories that are burned.
- Relieves tension and stress. This discipline must be practised outdoors, either in the fields or on the beach, but not on asphalt. Contact with nature, fresh air and the sun help reduce anxiety.
- Low risk of injury. Unlike other sports, Nordic walking greatly minimizes the chance of getting injured. Requiring the help of canes, to support them well, it is practised on flat paths or with few irregularities, which facilitates the tread and balance; the possibility of suffering a fall is almost nil.
- Combat postural problems. The movement with the sticks ‘forces’ the body, especially the shoulders and back, to a correct angle. If it is done well, you cannot go with your shoulders slumped, which favours the correct posture of the entire skeleton.
- Strengthens bones without damaging joints. Contrary to what it might seem, the vibration of the stick after each impulse strengthens the bone without harming the joints, damage that can be caused by the continuous repetition of exercises in other disciplines.
- Improves balance. As it is an integral sport that strengthens various parts of the body, it also improves balance, resistance, strength and coordination.
- Recommended for shoulder problems. Practising this sport, at the desired pace, improves shoulder mobility, reduces joint pain and prevents lymphedema, a swelling caused by the removal of lymph nodes as a result of breast cancer.