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Why walk

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why walk ?
Why walk? ..... well why not!

Many people over the decades have realised the benefits of walking.
And no more so than throughout the pandemic years of 2020 and 2021 when the lockdown protocols  have provoked a lot of conversations about the benefits of walking.
Just getting outdoors has contributed to the mental health and wellbeing of so many people.

Whilst race walkers had to "go it alone" for most of the time, the "virtual" race or walking event  took over.  Walkers from all over the world  jumped at the chance  just to get out there and walk -  for whatever the reason,  whatever challenge,  just what ever..... walkers went out  .. and just walked....

There are (generally) several "types" of  activity walking:

first of all ....  race walk?
Unlike other "types" of walking, race walking is a technical athletic sport. It has rules and judges to ensure you comply with the rules.

Race walking is also a very rewarding sport.  Walking with a race walking/athletics club is about so much more than physical exercise. It’s about joining a like minded community that has the power to change your life.
And when it comes to long and ultra distance walkers like the Centurions then it becomes a very special family of walkers.

> read more on our race walking page
more on walking
The benefits of walking can be translated to many "types" of walking
recreational walking - the benefits
Walking every day is healthy. It lowers your blood pressure and cholesterol, and it gets your heart and blood vessels in better shape. Walking a lot also increases your lungs’ capacity to take up oxygen. But it also increases your mental resilience.

How exactly does all of this work?
Many people suffer mental problems or burn-out symptoms due to excessive pressure (at work) and sensory overload. Nowadays, we are on 24/7. We’ve got phone calls, text messages, and emails coming in all the time. Processing all of that requires a lot of brainpower and affects our stress levels. Going for walk is a way to allow your brain to recover. Especially when you add a brisk pace to your walk, thoughts make way for emptiness and rest.

There are lots of walking groups to join in every country sho organise social walks and more "challenging" walks.

read more on challenge walks

From everyday experience, we know that people benefit physically, emotionally and mentally when they start to walk regularly.
Walking provides the opportunity to meet new people, expand social networks and connect people with their local environment and community or just to go out for a bit of peace and quiet.
Research says that walking -
  • gives you more energy and vitality: you can experience the open air and calm down;
  • also helps to combat or even diminish mental problems or complaints. Fresh air and exercise in a natural environment does do an awful lot of good. All you need to do is just go and explore your local park!
  • will make you feel better as result of walking outdoors - ie you end up in a better mood at the end of your walk! You can leave behind any daily troubles for a short time! Enjoy!
  • keeps your weight under control: tones the muscles, fights the flab...and all are obvious benefits. You can keep fit and mobile and active in a sensible way.
  • sleep better
  • run less risk on health problems (cancer, diabetes, heart and vascular diseases...)
  • increases  self-confidence

nordic walking
This can be a great aid to many walkers.  And there are many reasons why people want to try this method of walking especially for people with balance and stabilty problems.

The experts say ...
There are many advantages to using walking poles including better balance, stability and posture and less impact on the joints. This all helps reduce fatigue and improve endurance. It also helps strengthen and improve the muscles and increases joint mobility. Better support and security when going up and downhill and on rocky, muddy or snowy ground are further advantages.
Walking poles commonly come in pairs and will have two or three sections that can be folded down or collapsed into themselves. Some poles are a fixed length but most are adjustable. It is important to size your walking poles correctly as this can have a positive or negative effect on your body and joints and on your own safety. So take time to consider the type and length and make sure that they are also packable and won't get in the way.

No matter why people want to try nordic walking, there is a great  incentive for the more competitive nordic walkers with the numerous competitions and record achieving races that are on offer,

power walking
power walking or "speed walking"
not to be confused with race walking!  ...

The origins, in the 1990s, involved walking very fast around shopping malls in the US. Since then been transported to the outdoors.... and the benefits can be measured as the same or slightly higher than the benefits of recreational walking.

Basically,  power walking can be described as follows....
  • an ideal sport for the building and the conservation of a good physical condition and an an efficient training for the strengthening of the body
  • creates a sense of satisfaction through effort and training
  • probablly not a risky sport: there are no injuries by direct contact with a pavement or road surface
  • offers a natural solution for the prevention of illnesses and in particular for respiratory diseases (but be aware of traffic pollution in cities)
  • can be a great aid  to many walkers. And there are many reasons why people want to try this method of walking

power walking vs race walking

Race walking and power walking differ from each other in a technical sense. A major difference between race walking and power walking is the pace.

Race walking is a competitive and highly technical style of walking that is performed in competitive settings.
Power walking is walking at a faster pace than regular walking and is not done competitively. Power walkers use this style of walking for fitness rather than competition.

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