Scientific walking! You can just plain start walking without knowing the science of walking, and you'd still be walking scientifically and enjoying its benefits. But it's better to have a good idea how walking works and affects your body for good health and fitness--at the same time that you're walking or applying your head knowledge.
When you walk you start triggering the science of human mobility and its inner ramifications, or the mechanics of walking. And this includes, of course, the health benefits.
Any movement affects the heart and lungs. Too strenuous movements can sometimes affect them negatively. But the right amount can work miraculous wonders--heal defects and ailments, improve looks, and better life perspectives, scientifically.
You don't have to strain too much to get a good workout. Scientific walking is the best way to affect your heart and lung health positively in a workout--even if you have a weak heart or lungs. After getting your doctor's go signal, walk your way to a slimmer fit and stronger heart and lungs! With walking you strengthen them as you also lose weight. With healthy heart and lungs, plus healthy weight loss, the rest of the body systems follow. Gradually you get better results.
But you need lots of patience with walking. There are no quick fixes here, or overnight miracles, or even one- or two-week remedies. As scientific solutions have steps, so does Slim Walking has gradual remedial steps. But whatever results gained can be permanent; just keep at it.
Scientific walking is also Zen-like in a sense, because you have to seriously focus on it--like scientists with their test tubes and microscopes. Shut out everything and meditate as you walk your way to a slimmer fit. And that works out your spiritual and mental health, too.
Some may wonder why walking is good for the heart. You exercise the legs and the heart gets healthy? What's the connection?
Heart Health Improvement
Or, you may have a heart ailment and this stops you from trying a walk-slim workout. You know it's good for you but you're afraid you might suffer a stroke or attack while doing it. Well, fear not. As long as you trust God the Great Physician and regularly consult with a good medical heart expert and follow his advices, you'd never go wrong with scientific walking. Heart experts often strongly recommend walking. You can only benefit from walking.
Scientific walking gently works up the heart. For heart patients, just plain walk. Be slow as necessary. Just make sure you walk with a companion. As you walk, the activity gently puts some bit of pressure on the heart, so the heart beats faster. Physical movement creates a demand on the heart. This means more oxygen supply, especially to the lungs and brain.
But don't overwork yourself. If you feel like you're already gasping for air too much, take a rest or go slower. Don't aim for any distance or time target. Just plain walk. If the outdoors seem intimidating to you, walk around your bedroom first, then in the living room, then around the property, then try it along your street. The important thing is you enjoy it.
For Heart Tiptop Shape
For the healthy who wants further heart fitness, brisk walking gently stretches your heart beyond its limit. Some may opt for other forms of exercises, but even people with healthy hearts sometimes get into trouble with high intensity workouts when they demand too much from their hearts. Some even died. I know of stories where young athletes tried to run too fast than their hearts could endure and they just dropped dead. We don't have to do that just to get our hearts in tiptop shape. Just plain walk or walk briskly. We should all understand why walking is good for the heart for all ages and health conditions.
Walking for Heart Patients Those with healthy hearts are not exempt from regular check ups with their doctors. More so those who are heart patients, like those with Ischaemic heart disease or IHD. This is lack of blood in the heart. The more the patient should consult with his or her heart doctor. The same with those with heart hypertrophy or enlargement.
Some with these ailments cease from any physical activity fearing the worse. If you're like this, you have to understand that staying in your bed will not make you any better. Check with your physician and start with your scientific walking around where you are.
Aside from exercise, walking helps heal you because of the oxygen supply it gets into your brain. Most heart patients--or any patient for that matter--begin to dwell in their ailment and its miseries and suffer from too much stress. Stress makes you miserable and limits your world. It also magnifies unfounded fears so that you tend to imprison yourself in your own world and lose interest in other things, especially the outside world. This condition worsens heart ailment of any type.
This is why walking is good for your heart. Walking makes you go out and freshen up your perspective, especially if you walk in desirable environs, like parks or places with nature scenes. It exposes you to see that there are other worlds out there to look at and be in. It broadens your life view and dispels stress and anxiety.
Also, walking gets oxygen into your brain so that you think clearly and correctly. Brain cells starving from oxygen can make people miserable and too negative. While brain cells with enough oxygen supply make people think positively and happily. This way, the emotions are affected positively, and this definitely benefits your heart health.
Moreover, walking makes you meet other people and talk with them a lot. Or at least you meet them and smile and have them smile back at you. This simple human communication or reaching out effort means a lot to our spirits and emotions and make us "heal" faster. Feeing better definitely makes us get well faster. Even with good health, I realize why walking is good for the heart and daily I always make it a point to go out and start walking.
Brisk walking has a good effect on your lymphatic system. In summary, the lymphatic system is responsible for taking toxins in our system to the kidneys through the blood for filtering. The more the lymphatic system freely flows, the better for our health. This where deep breathing enters the picture. Deep breathing massages our thoracic duct (somewhere in our necks) and this helps the lymphatic system do its work better. And we know how conducive it is when toxins are washed down from our systems and exited from our bodies. And here's where brisk walking comes in. Brisk walking and the lymphatic system can work side by side to help us become healthier and speed up healing.
Well, deep breathing and the lymphatic system are the real partners here. But the idea we want to introduce is to do deep breathing while brisk walking. Running would be better for this purpose--it makes you gasp for more air--but since we're writing mostly for walkers who love to walk slim, we'll discuss it from the point of view of brisk walking and the lymphatic system. Learn to incorporate deep breathing with your brisk walking.
To benefit your lymphatic system, you have to breathe more deeply. This means you challenge your brisk walking more to a higher level. Again, we advise you to discuss this with your medical health doctor before doing it, though brisk walking is not a dangerous workout.
Most people breathe in a shallow manner, taking in oxygen less than they should. This means less oxygen supply to the lungs, and less oxygen for the body cells. When your cells don't et enough oxygen, which is their number one food, they grow weak and re-produce weaker cells. That's a weaker or unhealthy body for you. Moreover, your lymphatic system is not helped. More toxins remaining in your body means more susceptibility to ailments.
If you don't challenge your walking and just walk enough to prevent yourself from gasping for air, your lungs are not worked up and strengthened. So is your heart. Your lymphatic system also do not get much help. Better if you try to add speed gradually to your walk, and also widen your strides.
Speed and Stride
I add speed gradually to my brisk walks until I'm almost running. So why not just run? Well, I hate it when my ankles and brain get shaken up by running on cement or asphalt because I'm not wearing the right shoes. My shoes are for walking. But sometimes I break into a jog and then a run, and then brisk walk again, just to double up on my deep breathes. I want my lungs, heart, and lymphatic system to benefit from my workouts.
Check your breath cadence. I inhale a bit deeply as I lift a foot and then exhale as I land it. This cadence should go on smoothly. After about a minute I breathe really deeply to expand my lungs, and then resume with my regular breathing cadence. When I was running marathons, my instructor told me to exhale deeply now and then while partly controlling the air going out of my mouth by partly opening it. This expands the lungs, according to him. I do the same when brisk walking.
Then, after brisk walking, my breath would be deeper, and I'd feel and enjoy it more while slowly walking to cool down, adding a bit effort to deeply inhale and exhale more. This is how I incorporate brisk walking and the lymphatic system. And I make sure that I do slow and deep breathing before and after my brisk walks meditatively.
Most adults breathe from the chest. They raise their chests to inhale and lower them to exhale. It feels good. But we don't really fill our lungs with oxygen that way. We breathe less. The lungs do not expand and get exercised and strengthened. What we need is diaphragmic breathing.
Diaphragmic breathing is the natural way of breathing. You'd notice it in infants and sleeping kids. Life stress and pretensions trained us to breathe with the chest as we grew older. For instance, our insecurities make us want to walk tall or show our chests more so we raise them up. We stand and walk like that all the time until we incorporate it with inhaling.
But we only need to relax our shoulders and chest and breathe with our diaphragms. This enables us to fill the lungs more with oxygen. When we breathe deeply like this the lungs are expanded more.
Partially Used Lungs
Breathing from the chest makes us use our lungs only partially. Some say that often just half the lungs are used. This results to weak lungs. Begin to breathe using the diaphragm and use the lungs more completely. This gives you better oxygen supply to feed your cells with. And healthy cells means healthy body organs.
1. Relax your shoulders. Straighten the body and back. Look straight ahead (don't look down). Relax the mind, too. Better if you're in a quiet garden and you affix your stare (with half-closed eyes) to a flower or leaf in the distance.
2. Inhale by gradually enlarging the tummy. Don't raise the chest. Breathe as deeply as you can. It's better to practice breathing in the morning on an empty stomach (about 5 minutes after water therapy), although any time is a perfect time to practice correct breathing. Focus on imagining your lungs getting precious oxygen.
3. At the peak of you inhale (don't over-inhale. Just relax), hold the inhaling for about 3 seconds before you let go and exhale. Feel your lungs filled with pure, healthy, invigorating oxygen. Imagine your cells being fed anew, excited to feast on pure air.
3. Exhale by slowly contracting your tummy, as far as it can go. Imagine all the foul air being released from you. Enjoy the cleansing. When you have "emptied" yourself of breath, hold it like that for 3 seconds before you slowly inhale, as in step 2.
4. Don't breathe with your mouth. Inhale and exhale through the nose. Do everything quietly. There should be no sound from your nostrils as you inhale or exhale. Be relaxed all throughout.
5. Don't breathe with your throat or neck tensed. If you do, and you breathe deeply, you may feel dizzy, or feel your head swelling. This deprives your brain of oxygen. This is so important. Most people breathe by stressing their necks. Just let the air flow smoothly into your nose, without any sound, all the while relaxed and slowly bulging your tummy as you inhale, contracting as you exhale. Always practice correct breathing. Do it several times a day. Then do it when you walk slim or brisk walk.
If in case you're running out of breath during an emergency or excitement, breathe deeply and slowly while thinking positively. Think only of things that please you. Better, think of God's love, comfort, and protection. If you're a desk person, get out of your desk now and then and practice correct breathing. Keep practicing until correct breathing becomes natural to you.