by Bob Niklewicz PT MG
Question 1: How many muscles are there in the Human Body? If you have read one of my previous articles, you would know you have about 600 muscles.
Question 2: How many muscles pump blood throughout your body? If you said, “one, the heart”? If you did, you would be mostly wrong. Yes, the heart, about the size of your fist, beats (contracts, then relaxes) about 100,000 times a day. If you multiply that over a lifetime, the amount of work done is staggering. Those 600 muscles (one being the heart) contracts then relaxes during use, too. The difference is the heart beats your whole life while the other muscles work as needed. One of those needs is walking.
As in anything active, start out by warming up. A slow, steady walk may be all you need. My rule of thumb is when you are wearing a sweatshirt with a zipper and feel a need to pull down the zipper, you are warmed up. Walking with comfortable shoes is a plus. Walking around your yard several times should do nicely. If you are walking intensely, such as on dirt hills paths or uneven surfaces, consider a walking stick for balance. Walk at a pace that is not stressful, so you can enjoy the view. You should swing your arms even if you are using a stick. Right hand forward when the left foot steps forward. If you are really into progress, learn to take your pulse or use your smart watch to give you a number. The target heart rate for conditioning is 100 beats per minute. If you just want to warm up, go for the Glow.
“If you are in a bad mood, go for a walk, if you are still in a bad mood go for another walk.”
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Photo credits: www.verywellfit.com, legs; Jeannette E. Warnert