Article Contributor: Andrew
Walking in the UAE might not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about improving and maintaining health and fitness.
There are so many gyms and fitness clubs in Abu Dhabi and Dubai that the overall benefits of just walking are overlooked.
Of course it really depends on your own fitness goals but consider this, just 30 minutes of walking for fitness each day can improve your cardio fitness, help you lose weight, tone your physique and increase your endurance.
Walking for health and fitness reasons is one of the simplest yet best forms of exercise to get you in shape and help you maintain your fitness levels.
It’s definitely not as intense as many other forms of exercise in Abu Dhabi and Dubai which makes it suitable for all levels from fitness. Which means, even if you are overweight it can help you lose weight and increase your endurance.
Walking provides amazing benefits for both body and mind. Just a gentle stroll or a more active power walk around your neighbourhood can really help to clear your mind and keep you focused on your day.
Unlike many other forms of exercise, walking is free – no gym membership required and no fancy training kit needed at home.
Walking is considered a low-impact form of exercise. What this basically means is that unlike some other exercise routines walking will not put too much stress and pressure on the joints and the muscles.
This makes it ideal for all ages and especially seniors in the UAE or those recovering from illness or injury.
Slow walking still helps to get your heart working but when you are ready to increase your pace, fast walking (or intermittent walking) can really provide you with a great cardio workout.
This helps with heart health, helps to develop stronger lungs and can help to stabilise blood pressure.
Strong muscles and healthy bones are of course important at any age. However, as we age we slow down.
But, slowing down doesn’t mean you have to stop exercising completely. You just need to choose training methods that are more suitable.
Walking is a great choice because as mentioned above it is low-impact.
Walking can help to work all your major muscle groups and also keep your joints and limbs flexible and supple.
Flexibility is another reason walking is great. Walking everyday or even every other day help to keep you flexible.
Flexibility helps you maintain mobility and can also mean you find it easier to do every day tasks.
If weight loss is your goal and you find it difficult to use other training methods like intense cardio, weights and fast paced training programs walking should be just right for you.
Although walking won’t make the fat melt away like many other weight loss exercise methods it will help to reduce your weight gradually, especially when you combine walking for fitness with a good diet and nutrition program.
This does depend on you and your schedule. Many men and women in Abu Dhabi and Dubai try to spend around 1 hour per day walking for fitness.
Just 1 hour per day can help you maintain your level of fitness, provide mental clarity and get you out and about which is especially important if you have been working inside all day.
If you want to lose weight, improve your fitness levels, work on your cardio health or try power walking then you should probably try to do 45 minutes in the morning and 45 minutes in the evening.
Always make sure you have some water with you and never do too much strenuous walking in the midday sun in the UAE. This can lead to severe hydration. Walking with a friend or partner is always a good option too to provide motivation and encouragement.
Many women and men start a new exercise program with the goal of losing weight.
As we mentioned, there are more effective ways to lose weight (we have more articles about weight loss here) but if you want to ease into exercise then walking is ideal.
How much weight you can lose just by walking? This is impossible to answer because there are so many factors to consider.
As a rough estimate as quoted in an article on the Healthline Website it should be possible to lose up to 10% of your bodyweight in around 6 months by walking ‘briskly’ daily.
Brisk walking is walking at a pace, faster than just a stroll but not as fast as power walking. If you are getting your heart rate up on a flat walking surface you could probably consider that as brisk walking.
It can sometimes be difficult for many seniors in the UAE to find a suitable exercise type to suit them and their particular circumstance. While many seniors are completely active and mobile others may be more inactive and less mobile.
Walking for fitness is great for seniors because as we mentioned above walking is considered a low impact exercise method. This means seniors who are mobile and those with limited mobility can both enjoy all the benefits that walking for fitness provides.
Pace and distance is of course an important thing to consider. If you are a senior in Abu Dhabi or Dubai you might want to consider contacting a senior fitness personal trainer initially just to get advise and maybe even a customised training program.
What’s more, walking for seniors in the UAE can also be a great social activity. Helping you catch up with old friends and also making new ones.
Whatever your reasons are for choosing to walk more remember its always going to help you improve or maintain your fitness level. It can help with weight loss, senior fitness and even contribute to better mental health too.