A study shows that a brisk walk can be just as effective as a run: it helps you get back in shape and extends your life
Summer: time to get back in shape, to restart a good and healthy physical activity in the open air, especially after more than a year spent away from the gyms due to the health emergency due to the new Coronavirus. And what better way than with a brisk walk? “Researchers have shown that brisk walking can be just as effective as running. But, unlike the latter, it is certainly less demanding ", explains the trainer of the VIPs Ione Acosta, who boasts among his clients from the footballer Modibo Diakité to the international actresses Laia Costa and Ida Lundgren, up to the princess Arabella von Liechtenstein and vip Italians like Carolina Rey, Luca Capuano and the singer Fiordaliso.
For the trainer, making a commitment to increase the speed of what can be a simple walk is an easily achievable goal.
- The benefits of brisk walking
- How to get started
- What to eat before and after training
The benefits of brisk walking
Walking briskly every day can help improve health in various ways, to the advantage of cardio-circulatory, respiratory, mobility and muscle endurance functions. Stress and mood are also positively affected by this type of physical activity and even improves insomnia.
A recent study conducted by the University of Leicester (UK), the results of which were published in the Journal of Obesity, showed that those who walk fast can live up to 20 years longer. "Fast walking improves cardiovascular well-being, which represents a yardstick on the efficiency of the heart, and the ability to use oxygen, which in turn represents an indicator of fitness," explains Acosta.
"Furthermore, with physical exercise and specific supplements we can stimulate the production of sirtuins, proteins that 'rejuvenate' the muscles and make us live longer", adds the expert. It is a class of proteins naturally present in our body that regulate important metabolic pathways and are involved, among other things, in aging and stress. "Exercise activates these 'longevity proteins', which make us live better and longer," says Acosta. And at the same time they have beneficial effects on muscle and physical fitness in general.
How to get started
"Exercising is good for all ages and at all hours, but we need to adapt training to our physical conditions, to see results and benefit. An athletic boy under 30 will have a different workout than a 60 year old with joint problems ", explains the expert. And then the training counts. "Those who start after a long period of inactivity – advises the trainer – must gradually walk the first week for a maximum of 10-20 minutes and then reach 40 minutes in the second week up to an hour from the third week onwards. The ideal is to walk every day or at least three times a week ".
The ideal time? “Better to train in the morning – Acosta recommends – in the morning insulin levels are low, while those of hormones are high, this promotes weight loss, stimulating the“ burning ”of fat. The step must be harmonious, well balanced with respect to height and length of the limbs. The trunk must assume an upright position and the shoulders must assume a relaxed but not drooping attitude ”.
What to eat before and after training
The first rule of Ione Acosta on the most suitable nutrition for physical exercise is to eat and not fast. “Many think that exercising on an empty stomach burns previously accumulated fat. That's not true, that is, not for everyone, especially for last-minute athletes, "says the expert. "Doing physical activity on an empty stomach, especially in an untrained body, risks affecting the proteins of the muscles, hindering the weight loss process".
So, how do you go about it? “Before the walk it is important to have a light breakfast that is nutritious and gives the right amount of mineral salts. Yes to a meal based on cereals, fresh or dried fruit, yogurt, toast. For coffee lovers, the walk could be further fat-burning. Taking a little caffeine or theine along with a few glasses of water can in fact help you get your stomach down ", assures the trainer. It is also essential to keep the body hydrated by taking an adequate amount of water during activity.
"This is true in the morning, but throughout the day: yes to meals with a balance of proteins and carbohydrates, no to high-calorie meals. For example: never an amatriciana before a walk, yes with cold wholemeal pasta with vegetables and light cheese or eggs ", concludes the expert.