It takes only 30 minutes a day, is internationally acclaimed and scientifically proven, says Ankita Saini.
IMAGE: Kind courtesy Reebok India
The biggest health myth many of us believe is that staying fit takes a lot of time, money and effort.
Even after signing up for an expensive workout plan and gym membership, people usually struggle to get fitter because they think they need to do 'a lot' to achieve well-rounded results.
That's not true.
Certain new age exercises provide a complete body workout and take less than 30 minutes a day to deliver great results.
Power walking is one such option.
It is an internationally acclaimed and scientifically proven form of complete workout that can be as effective as running.
It helps strengthen muscles, manage weight and reduce stress.
This intensive form of walking demands more exaggerated and controlled body movements to achieve all-round results.
It requires both arms to be kept at a 90-degree angle with a back and forth movement while walking and one foot touching the ground at all times.
Power walking can help burn up to 345 calories an hour and should be part of everyone's daily routine.
Here's how power walking helps exercise for your different body parts:
The correct technique requires the abdominal muscles to be pulled in at all times.
This results in stronger, more toned abdominal muscles.
The heel-to-toe technique activates the gluteal (rear) muscles and results in a much more toned posterior.
The trick is also to squeeze these muscles while walking.
Power walking requires both arms to be locked at a 90-degree angle and oscillated from the eye level (in front) to the shoulder level (when back) during the entire walking cycle.
This strengthens the shoulder muscles.
The requirement to keep the body in a neutral position (not leaning forward as in the case of sprinting or running, or twisting as in the case of race walking) creates great posture, adding to one's overall personality and presence.
The heel-to-toe technique, coupled with speed, leads to greater pressure on the lower legs or the shin area.
This consistent pressure results in an intensive work out of the shin muscles making them stronger.
The long-term impact of power walking on the shin area is similar to that of weight exercise for the legs.
In addition, the intensive nature of the workout results in faster circulation of blood.
Around 25 to 30 minutes of power walking everyday would help you stay fit without burning a hole in your pocket.
Ankita Saini is a medical advisor (PGD -- forensic psychology and clinical cardiology) at Max Bupa Health Insurance.