- Improve athletic performance
- Decrease the risk of injuries
- Help to improve flexibility
- Increase blood flow to the muscle
You want to be sure to use proper technique. Stretching incorrectly can do more harm than good. Watch this video about warming up and stretching after a walk.
- Stretching should not be used as a warm-up. You may hurt yourself if you stretch cold muscles.
- Before stretching, warm up with low intensity walking for 5 to 10 minutes. This can then be followed by some stretches for your legs to prevent stiffness and increase flexibility. If you have a chronic condition or an injury, approach stretching with caution as you may need to adjust your stretching techniques. If you already have a strained muscle, stretching it may cause further harm. Talk to your doctor or physical therapist about the best way to stretch if you have any health concerns.
Increase Walking Intensity By:
- Speed Walking: Breathe normally and pump your arms vigorously as you speed up your pace.
- Water Walking: Walking in the water increases the difficulty because you move against the resistance of the water.
- Climb Walking: Climbing hills or stairs is the most vigorous form of walking. Increase your climbing gradually.
Sources: Adapted from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care & the Mayo Clinic