Hundreds of km of dedicated routes: these are the numbers of urban trekking in Italy, walking at a sporty pace, in historic centers, along selected itineraries with different degrees of difficulty. A way to combine fitness and culture, modeling and nourishing your mind, relaxing and giving yourself an active break, which allows you to burn about 450 calories per hour. And to intensely tone the legs and buttocks. Among the destinations suitable for trekkers there are historic centers such as Siena, Padua, Mantua, Bologna, Urbino, but also splendid and little known towns such as Palmanova and Cividale del Friuli.
You can dedicate yourself to this activity even in your city or in the nearest one and make it the right opportunity to discover, at a fast pace, new views, corners and perspectives that are unknown or that you had missed. However, it is important to leave prepared, to reap the maximum benefits. Here are the expert’s tips.
1. Walk correctly
“The first step to practice urban trekking is simple, but fundamental: walking correctly»He begins John Gruden, Nordic walking instructor specializing in training techniques and physiology. If you want the walk to be sporty, fast and turn into an opportunity for well-being, watch yourself. Do you drag your feet, do you walk on your toes or on your heels? Be careful, because back pain, contractures and inflammation in the knees are lurking.
“The roll of the foot it is the basis for good walking»Explains our expert. «The movement starts from the heel and then continues with the support, from the outside, on the plantar arch and on the metatarsus until it loses contact with the ground with the second toe, thus concluding the step», advises Gruden. It’s not hard – think of your feet as old ink pads, the ones with a curved base, and start slowly, being careful to push with your fingers.
2. Breathe with your diaphragm
“Move in the most natural way possible, with your abdominals contracted and your gaze in front of you, without lowering it so as not to arch your back”, suggests the expert. “Also, use diaphragmatic breathing, inflating the abdomen when you inhale, to fill up with oxygen“. She can be tiring at first, so if you’re not used to it, practice standing still.
3. Watch out for climbs and descents
“Walking in the historical centers, you will find yourself in front of stairways or climbs”, adds the expert. “In this case, trekking poles, especially if you have joint problems or are trying to lose weight, could be useful.” You will have a double support and therefore more balance; you will be able to take off about 26% of your weight from the lower limbs, reducing stress on the ankles, knees and hips, e you will increase your calorie consumption by 25%. «If you prefer without», continues Gruden, «remember that when going downhill, even on stairs, it is essential to flex the knees, to cushion and brake, and to place the foot lightly, so as not to ache in the lumbar region. Uphill, then, he avoids unbalancing you with the torso forward, because so you would strain your knees and ankles. To do this, it is enough to keep the abdominals contracted ».
4. Aim for 120 steps per minute
If you want to maintain a training and slimming pace, walk for at least 40 minutes at a speed of 4 km / h, basically about 120 steps per minute: this is the pace that makes you consume the highest percentage of calories (40%) deriving from fat. You can help yourself with a sport watch to monitor it.
5. Drink enough
Don’t forget to leave with the supply of water, preferably in a pouch of the technical ones, which have space for a wallet, rain jacket and, on the hips, two supports for the water bottles. So you won’t sweat on your back and you won’t be leaning forward, like when you carry a backpack. “In the city, the heat can be intense, so hydration is also essential to avoid the increase in body temperature and heart rate,” explains Gruden. Furthermore, drinking little reduces the efficiency of the metabolism in eliminating fat. You don’t need supplements: if you want you can enrich the water with vitamins with a few drops of lemon juice.
6. Don’t stop abruptly
At this point, away, at a brisk pace. “But then slow down in the last few minutes, especially if the fatigue was intense », continues Gruden. If you stop abruptly, your heart will continue pumping blood for a few minutes, bringing more blood to your legs. If you freeze suddenly, perhaps after a strenuous climb, you may feel dizzy.
7. Always finish with stretching
To dispose of lactic acid e feel less tireddon’t forget to take some time to stretch. Here are 3 useful exercises.
- Relieve tension in your calves
Stand up, put your hands on a wall in front of you, keeping one foot at 10 cm and stretching the other back until you feel a slight tension in the calf. For 20-40 “. Then repeat on the other side.
- Stretch your quadriceps
Standing, bend your right leg back, grab your ankle and bring the heel closer to the buttock, without leaning forward. For 20-40 ”Then do it on the left.
- Relax your adductors
Sitting on the ground, join the soles of your feet, trying to keep the heels close to the buttocks. For 20-40 “.