This article reminded me that I used to take long walks with my mom and we would bond. I think this is a great way to exercise and talk with your kids if they are willing to do it with you.
Walking is one of the most basic forms of exercise. It has all sorts of benefits:
- Helps with weight control
- Helps reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and stroke
- Controls blood pressure – physical activity strengthens the heart and makes blood flow more efficient.
- Helps boost good cholesterol
- Helps bones, muscles and joints stay strong
- Improves sleep
- Helps lengthens lifespan
- Great way to talk with your partner
Teen and Parent Power Walking or Speed Walking
Power Walking is walking at a speed of about 4.5 to 5.5 mph. Walking and jogging at this pace are almost equally efficient, but the walking gait puts less impact on joints. You will often see power walkers swinging their arms as this helps with speed efficiency as well as keeps their heart rate up. To qualify as power walking as opposed to jogging or running, at least one foot must be in contact with the ground at all times. OK, so that is just the formal definition of “walking,” taken from wikipedia. Realistically, you know the difference between walking and jogging when you’re doing it. Jogging requires a little “jump” between each step. Walking does not.
Teen and Parent Purposeful Walking, Fast Walking, Fitness or Aerobic Walking.
These are all pretty much the same-meaning all of these forms of walking get your heart rate up (and if not you are not working hard enough). Here is where you can really burn some calories for people who want to burn calories, but think that the wild arm-swinging of Power Walking makes them look goofy. Then Fast Walking, while it won’t burn quite as many calories as Power Walking, will still give you a good workout, and save you the funny looks that are given to the hip-swishing, arm-swinging Power Walkers.
Teen and parent Meandering
Then you have the Meanderer. To meander, according to Webster’s Dictionary, is to move aimlessly and idly without fixed direction. The Meanderer might go for a walk and make many stops along the way. While this is better than simply sitting on the couch and not moving at all, you are not getting a very good workout. So if your objective is to stretch and get some movement, meander all you want. But if you really want to benefit your heart and lose some extra pounds you will have to work a little harder. Do it in the mall if you have to!
What you need and your teen need before you start:
- Comfortable Sneakers & Clothing. Layers are great as the weather tends to be a little colder right now.
- Music – Great tunes always help keep you moving. My personal favorite this week is Britney Spears-Circus. Not to mention-her body transformation is a result of lots of movement and exercise!
- Water – stay hydrated. Drink some water before and if you can drink some along the way.
- Warm up properly. Once your body temperature feels warm you are ready to rock and roll!
- Cool down-slow your walking pace for about 5 minutes.
- Stretch – To reduce injury and help your body recover faster make sure to properly stretch.
Karen Jashinsky is the founder of O2 MAX-a youth fitness company that teaches youth how to integrate fitness and nutrition into their day-to-day lives while preventing injuries and empowering youth to lead healthy and fit lifestyles. The O2 MAX Fitness training studio is based in Santa Monica. To receive her newsletter or contact her she can be reached at info (at) o2maxfitnes.com. Or through her website & blog: www.o2maxfitness.com <http://www.o2maxfitness.com>