Put the spring in your step and guard against dehydration
A leisurely stroll in the morning or after dinner, a brisk walk to achieve your cardio target for the day, exploring a city and its charms on foot (and many would say this is the best way to discover a place), or a trekking holiday, whatever be on your itinerary, here’s what your body needs to ensure that your steps don’t falter.
Walking for fitness
Walk no slower than 10 minutes per km, if walking for a cardio workout. Start with 30 minutes a day for 4 days a week, and slowly increase this to 6-7 days a week. Start with 3 km in 30 minutes, and add 10 minutes to the walk time every week, till the 60 minutes target is achieved. The benefits include lower resting heart rate and blood pressure, toned lower legs, improved sleep, better digestion and increased energy through the day.
Carry a water bottle on the walk if it is hot.
Avoid sports drinks, as they are loaded with sugar.
Drinking nimbu paani with salt after the walk will help replenish and rehydrate.
Avoid walking after a heavy meal. A light snack before starting, or tea or coffee is fine.
After the walk eat something with protein in it - eggs, paneer and a small amount of carbohydrate, like a roti. Or have a protein shake.
If embarking on a long walk, a trek or a walk across a city or town, it is important to guard against dehydration, electrolyte imbalance and weakness.
Carry some buttermilk or a bottle of water to which some chia seeds or sweet basil seeds have been added, to ensure some protein intake along with hydration.
Drinking lemon juice or coconut water on the way will ensure there is no electrolyte imbalance.
The body needs energy, so a slow-release carb like a banana before setting off on the walk helps. And carry some high-protein snacks to munch on – like nuts or seeds, or sprouts.
Expert consulted: Kamal Singh, fitness expert (for walking for fitness) and Kavita Devgan, nutritionist (for what to eat/drink for a long walk)